There was complete silence and state of mourning at Lt Col Bikramjit Singh's residence in Sector 8 of Chandigarh, where his body will be consigned to flames on Friday with state honours.
Injured army jawans being evacuated from the attack site in Samba, Jammu and Kashmir. (ANI Photo)
Col Singh was shot in the stomach by the terrorists on Thursday at 16 Cavalry unit in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir when he was returning unarmed from the officers' mess to his home in the adjacent residential area.
Lt Col Bikramjeet Singh, the second-in-command of the unit stationed at the camp, was among the four martyred in Thursday's attack by three terrorists dressed in army fatigues. The militants first stormed a police station and then an army camp in Jammu region, killing 10 dead in the twin 'fidayeen' attacks in a decade.
"It was a cowardly attack on a brave soldier of India. I tell you he would have handled all the three had he been carrying a weapon with him," said Sinigh's childhood friend. But his father major (Retd) Paramjeet Singh is still to come to terms with the tragedy.
People from different walks of life and neighbours visited the house and expressed their condolences to the bereaved family.
Gurpreet Kaur, 43, a cousin of the martyr, told mediapersons that Bikramjit was a brave man and spent his childhood in different parts of the country with his father, who too was in the army.
Singh has an eight-year-old daughter, she said. His body was brought in a helicopter to Chandimandir, a military station near Panchkula on Thursday.
The family members were taken to the military station, and later the body was shifted to a mortuary in Chandimandir.
Bikramjeet, who hailed from Chandigarh, had joined the elite Armoured Corps after passing out from the prestigious Indian Military Academy in December 1998.
The commanding officer of the unit, Col Avin Utthaiya, who seriously injured in the firing by terrorists, was one of the first people in the unit to react to the attack.
He was evacuated to the Military Hospital at Pathankot with injuries in his arm and leg.