India-China standoff in Ladakh: Mansa family loses a son 2 days after another’s marriage
It was on Monday when the elder brother of Gurtej Singh (23), who along with 19 soldiers lost his life in a face-off with the Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, got married.
The family from Birewala Dogran village in Budhlada sub-division of Mansa district was shattered when the news of his death reached on Wednesday. His parents, Virsa Singh and Parkash Kaur, were inconsolable.
Even as Gurtej, a sepoy in the army’s 3 Punjab Battalion, could not attend the wedding function he had announced to throw a party for the newlywed couple on his return to the village.
“Their is a close-knitted family. But the eldest son Tarlok Singh, who works in a private firm in Rajasthan, could not attend marriage due to the lockdown restrictions. Gurtej was very excited over Gurpreet’s marriage,” said Sukhwinder Kaur, a village resident.
Boota Singh, a family friend and neighbor, said Gurtej spoke to the family about 15 days ago to know about the preparations for the marriage.
“Being the youngest of three brothers, he was a pampered child. The news of his loss has shattered us all,” said Boota.
“But the entire village is in a state of shock. The grieving family members are unable to speak much,” said another villager.
The district administration said Gurtej’s mortal remains was likely to arrive in the village by Thursday.