An ace shooter was among the three bravehearts who laid down their lives fighting the five Pakistan-based terrorists at the Pathankot air force base on Saturday.
A Defence Security Corps (DSC) personnel, Hony Capt Fateh Singh of Gurdaspur’s Jhanda Gujjaran village took on the terrorists who had sneaked into the air base.
A national-level shooter, Fateh Singh had retired from the 15 Dogra Regiment and joined the DSC. The DSC is a specialised unit that provides security at defence ministry sites.
Fateh had made the country proud by clinching gold and silver in the 300m big bore team and individual events during the first Commonwealth Shooting Championship held in New Delhi in 1995.
Remembering Fateh, former chief coach of Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) Col MS Chauhan said, “ Fateh was not only an ace big bore shooter, but also a dedicated, brave and daring soldier of the Dogra Regiment.”
“I meet him for the first time at a big bore camp in Mhow in the mid-90s. Since then, we shared a close bonding. His demise has created a big void in the shooting arena,” said national shooting coach Dilip Singh Chandel.
Fateh, who was honoured by then Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, is survived by his wife Madhu Bala and sons Gurdeep Singh Deepu and Nitin Thakur. Deepu is currently serving in the 15 Dogra regiment.
Apart from Fateh, another Defence Security Corps (DSC) personnel and an Indian Air Force (IAF) official were killed in the Pathankot attack.
While the IAF man’s identity is yet to be ascertained, the other slain DSC personnel has been identified as Havildar Kulwant Singh of Chak Sharif village in Gurdaspur district.
Kulwant, who retired from the army in 2004, joined the DSC in 2006. He is survived by his mother Swarn Kaur, wife Harbhajan Kaur and two sons — Surinder Singh and Gursharan Singh. He was transferred from Odisha to Pathankot air station two months ago.
The villagers rushed to the houses of the two martyrs as soon as the reports of their supreme sacrifice poured in and expressed solidarity with the bereaved families.