Army major killed in Pulwama encounter made plans for first anniversary
Thirty-four-year-old Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal’s wife Nitika Kaul while paying her last tributes with a salute to her husband on Tuesday said, “I am not helpless. My husband was a brave heart,” she said.
Major Dhoundiyal, who belonged to the 55 Rashtriya Rifles, was killed on Monday during a gun battle with Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama.
Watch: ‘I love you,’ says wife of Pulwama martyr in heartbreaking farewell
Three other army personnel, a policeman, and a civilian were also killed while a group of senior security officials, including south Kashmir’s deputy inspector general of police and an Indian Army brigadier, was wounded during the nearly 18-hour operation.
The gun battle took place about 15km away from the spot where 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers died in a suicide attack on a convoy by JeM militant Adil Ahmed Dar last Thursday.
His wife, was the first to be informed first about the major’s death by army officials. The 27-year-old, who works in a multinational company in Delhi, had left Dehradun on Monday morning.
Major Dhoundiyal is also survived by his three elder sisters, mother and grandmother. He was the youngest in the family. He had planned to come home in April for his first anniversary celebrations.
“We spoke last on Sunday and he was very excited to come home for his first anniversary celebrations. He had even planned his leaves in the first week of April but I asked him to come later as our leave schedules were not matching,” his sister Vaishnavi Dhoundiyal said.
“He came home too early after that call,” she said.
Sitting in the major’s room and pointing to the empty walls, his sister said, “Since the wedding, we had been thinking of putting up pictures of their marriage in this room. We even had them ready but were not able to put them up.”
“The thought scares us now that instead of the couple, a photograph of our brother will hang on this wall.”
Shakuntala Dhoundiyal, the major’s 95-year-old grandmother also paid tributes to her grandson on Monday evening but she was unaware that she had lost him