Fighting terror runs deep in this Kapurthala family's genes. Gurdaspur superintendent of police (detective) Baljit Singh, who died battling militants in Dinanagar on Monday, had lost his father, also a cop, in a 'terror' attack nearly three decades ago.
Baljit was recruited in Punjab Police in 1986 on compassionate grounds after his father Achar Singh, an assistant sub-inspector-rank police official, was killed in a suspected terrorist attack in Moga in 1984.The father-son duo is not the only one from the family to have laid down their lives for the motherland. Baljit's first cousin, Manpreet Singh, a constable in Punjab Police, was killed by terrorists in Tarn Taran in 1991.
"First my brother, then my son and now Baljit, our family has been on the forefront when it comes to serving the nation. They have made us proud…but on a personal front, it's an irreparable loss to us," said the officer's 81-year-old uncle Amar Sing, fighting back his tears.
Baljit was promoted to the rank of SP in July 2013 and had taken over as SP (D) on May 12 this year.
The officer had rushed to the spot early in the morning. When the tense family called him up around 9.30, he said: "Don't disturb. Will call back after terrorists are killed." "These were the last words I heard from him," said Baljit's eldest daughter Parminder, who is a BDS student.
Initially, the family was not told about the officer's death.
Baljit's wife Kulwant Kaur fainted when the news was finally broken to her around 3 pm. A pall of gloom descended on Santpura locality where the family resides. Neighbours recall Baljit as a modest man.
"He was never involved in any controversy. He was one of the humblest officers I have met in my career," said Kapurthala senior superintendent of police Ashish Chaudhary.