Major Amit Deswal of the 21 Para, who was killed in an encounter with Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF) militants in Manipur’s Tamenglong district on Wednesday, was born on Army Day (January 15) in 1985.
He decided his career goal as a child and worked hard to achieve it, said his younger brother Sumit Dewal, talking to HT at the family’s Sector 6 residence in Jhajjar, where they shifted last year.
Major Deswal followed in the footsteps of his father, a retired subedar major, to join the Indian Army. He is survived by his wife Neeta and three-year-old son Arjun. They along with his father Subedar Major Rishi Ram Deswal (retired) had gone to Manipur to visit him on April 6. “Amit’s mother was alone to receive the news here. His younger brother was at Jamnagar when the news came in,” said Ram Kumar, his uncle.
Promotion was due next year
“His promotion was due next year. Even his posting orders had come,” said Sumit. “He was excellent in both academics and sports. He won many prizes during his commando course. He used to tell me about his achievements to motivate me,” he said.
Major Deswal completed his schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya and later took admission in Delhi University for bachelors in commerce. He stood second in the merit list of the Indian Military Academy in 2005, released by the Union Public Service Commission. He was commissioned on June 10, 2006, in the regiment of artillery, from where his father retired in 2009. After several successful operations, he was selected for the special forces and later entered the elite unit of the army in 2011.
Major Deswal was given an important role in Manipur for Operation Hifazat-2 in January 2016. Taking leave from the operation, he last visited his home in February for one week to attend Sumit’s wedding.
“He was born on the Army Day, and we knew he was meant to be an army man. Our father has already started teaching his son Arjun how to swim and is preparing him for the same career,” said Sumit.
Sustained six bullet wounds
Major Deswal had sustained six bullet injuries, the post-mortem examination conducted on Thursday revealed. With other soldiers in his unit injured as well and there being bad weather in the region, Major Deswal’s body will be kept in Assam for Thursday night, where the army will pay tributes to him. The body will be flown to Delhi on Friday morning, from where it will be brought to his native village of Surehti in Jhajjar district, said Sumit.