Wish we’d spoken to them on phone last week, say fathers of fallen Uri soldiers
Both from West Bengal, Gangadhar Dolui and Biswajit Ghorai were killed when Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists struck at the army installation in Uri sector of Kashmir.UriTerrorAttack Updated: Sep 19, 2016 18:57 IST
Robin Ghorai, 55, a day-labourer can’t curse himself enough for not speaking to his son when he called his wife Rekha on Saturday. He will never be able to hear the voice of his 22-year old son again, said Ghorai as he sobbed inconsolably waiting for his son’s casket that was supposed to arrive on Monday evening carried by fellow jawans.
“Biswajit joined the armed forces two years ago. We are a poor family and I am still carrying a loan of Rs 3 lakh incurred for the education of my children (two sons and a daughter),” Ghorai, a resident of Gangasagar in South 24 Parganas, told HT.
About 150km away in Jamunabalia village of Howrah district, Onkarnath Dolui, 64, also a daily wage earner like Ghorai, was lamenting for not speaking to his son Gangadhar when he telephoned his mother on Thursday.
Both Dolui and Biswajit Ghorai were killed when Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists struck at the army installation in Uri sector of Kashmir. The ironies don’t end here -- both Gangadhar and Biswajit were the only earning members of their families.
They came from poor families, and their dependants eagerly looked forward to their jobs to gradually climb out of the rut. The duo had spent two years in the armed forces.
Gangadhar promised his father that he would gradually try to turn their thatched house into a ‘pucca’ dwelling. “My nephew started negotiating with the mason to start the construction after the pujas,” Thakurlal, an uncle of Gangadhar Dolui, told HT.
“My brother Onkarnath, who had given up working as a daily wage labourer, will have to resume work again. The tragedy will only multiply the burden,” he lamented.
The Ghorais, who live near the confluence of the river Bhagirathi and the Bay of Bengal, got the first inkling of the trouble when villagers got the news on Sunday evening that militants attacked the army establishment in Kashmir.
Rabin Ghorai told the villagers that he could not be really bothered about the battle so many miles away. Shortly, however, he got the shock of his life when officers from the local Sagar police station arrived at his doorstep and broke the news of his son’s death.
Gangadhar Dolui’s mother still can’t believe the news of his son’s death that reached the family on Sunday evening through a telephone call to his father. “My brother initially thought the phone call was a mere prank. Now after so many hours, while it has started sinking in him, my sister-in-law Sikha is still in a denial mode,” said Thakurlal Dolui.
Rabin Ghorai has three children -- two sons and a daughter -- and Biswajit was the eldest. Gangadhar Dolui has a brother.
“Why did they send the young chap to such a risky spot? The experienced one should have gone there.” Omkarnath Dolui was murmuring to himself on Monday morning. He never consented to his son joining the army, but had to relent in the face of grinding poverty.
“We don’t want to receive the body of our son on Monday night. It will be late in the night for the body to arrive at the village, and we don’t have enough people to arrange the last rites at a late hour,” said Thakurlal Dolui.
Ghorai last visited his home on August 21 when he spent just a day. He wanted to come home during the pujas in the second week of October, but was denied leave.