Lance naik Sukhwinder Singh (31) died fighting terrorists on Friday morning at Uri in Kashmir after defending the state for three years.
Harnek Singh (70) of Sooch village near Rampura Phul town, 40 kilometres from here, remembers his brave son.
The youngest of three brothers, Sukhwinder Singh had joined the army’s Field Regiment in 2003. He had planned to be home on December 12 for a wedding in the in-laws. He leaves being his wife, Gurwinder Kaur; father; mother, Karnail Kaur; and elder brothers Gurjant Singh and Sukhdev Singh. He had married in 2010.
Attached to his son, the griefstricken father now runs his hands softly on his photograph to dust it. Sukhwinder Singh had studied up to Class 12 before joining the army. Gurjant Singh lives in a separate house, while bachelor Sukhdev Singh and Sukhwinder’s family live with his parents.
The soldier’s cousin, Labh Singh, said he had talked to Sukhwinder Singh an-hour-andhalf before the Uri attack and he shared with him some photographs on WhatsApp before going to the bed after logging a full shift.
Remembering the soldier as a thorough gentleman, village nambardar Harjit Singh said: “Sukhwinder Singh was also in the forefront of social activities in the village. He had not been home in more than seven months, so we were waiting for him eagerly.”
The bereaved family owns about 12 acres. Soldier Lakhwinder Singh from Kot Bhagta village in Bathinda district along with four colleagues from different parts of Punjab, reached the village to console the family. “Our regiment was to come out of Jammu and Kashmir in three months after completing three years in the troubled zone,” said Lakhwinder Singh. They colleagues remember Sukhwinder Singh as a kindhearted fellow who was always ready to help people.
DISTRICT ADMN WAS UNAWARE
Call it the lack of communication or lackadaisical attitude of the authorities, the Bathinda administration was unaware until Saturday afternoon that a soldier from the district had died in a terrorist attack in Kashmir.
The office of the district defence services welfare had the information by the morning but none of the civil officials had it. District defence services welfare officer commander Baljinder Virk (retired) confirmed the hour of receiving the input.
When contacted around 12.30 pm, additional deputy commissioner Sumeet Jarangal said he had no such information. Deputy commissioner Basant Garg also had not heard it until the media told him around 2.30 pm. It was then that he rang up Maur subdivisional magistrate Paramdeep Singh and asked him to visit the soldier’s family.
The SDM sent Maur tehsildar Jarnail Singh over to the family by 3pm. The martyr’s body will reach Bathinda on Sunday morning and he will be cremation at his native place with state honours.