Rajendra Nath Das of Sivasagar district, who joined the CRPF in 1984, had last come home in April. On Wednesday morning, his wife Usha Rani Das had to reconcile with the news that Das was never coming home again. The paramilitary force informed her that Das had died in Tuesday’s Maoist attack at Narayanpur in Chhattisgarh. He was among the seven jawans from Assam, who died in the attack.
“My husband was a brave man. I am sure before dying he must have given a fitting reply to attackers,” says Usha Rani. At Dadara village in Kamrup district, there is a sense of gloom. Dhrubajyoti Das, who joined the paramilitary force in 2004, was another victim of the attack.
The other jawans from Assam, who died on that day, were Bidyadhar Barik, Anjan Phukan (Jorhat), Arjun Goyari, S.C. Das and Sohail Rana (Sapara in Barpeta district).
CRPF sources here said that the bodies of slain jawans would be airlifted to the state capital on Thursday, from where they would be brought to their villages.
From the ’90s, the number of youths selected from Assam to different paramilitary forces and to the Army saw a spurt.
Many of them were from the rural areas.
A recruitment drive aimed at preventing able-bodied youth from enlisting with militant outfits for a source of income was partly responsible for this trend.
In the attack on Eastern Frontier Rifles at Silda in West Bengal last year, six of some 40 jawans killed by Maoists were from Assam. In the Dantewada incident, four jawans were from Assam. All those killed were from remote, rural areas of the state.