Thirty-five-year-old Naik Rajesh Negi came home to a thunderous applause after helping contain the terrorists who had infiltrated the Pathankot airbase recently.
Hailing from a small village in Almora district of Uttrakhand, Negi joined the army and is currently on deputation with the elite National Security Guard (NSG) force that was tasked to take on the terrorists. He currently resides with his family in Vasundhara, Ghaziabad.
The residents’ welfare association of the area plans to honour their hero publicly at the Republic Day function in the colony. Residents are also hopeful that the state government would honour Negi.
“During the operation, a grenade was lobbed at the NSG team in which Negi and his colleagues suffered injuries. We came to know only through news that an NSG team had flown to Pathankot. It was only when my son was brought to the Army Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi, that I rushed to see him,” said Harsh Singh Negi, Rajesh’s father.
“He has suffered 8-9 injuries on his body and has impaired vision after a splinter pierced his left eye. Doctors are hopeful of helping him recover his vision. I am proud of my son as he did not let his nation down. Our family has given several men to serve in the army,” Harsh Singh said.
Rajesh’s father retired from the army while one of his younger brothers, Naik Uttam Singh, died in the 1999 Kargil operation. Another younger brother is currently serving in the army.
“We are happy to have our son back but we also feel deeply for those who lost lives in the attack. I wish he recovers well and goes back to serve his unit,” said Hema Negi, Rajesh’s mother.