Dehradun mourns its army majors killed in Pulwama attacks
Even as Major Chitresh Bisht was cremated with full state honours in Haridwar on Monday after being killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Kashmir’s Nowshera on Saturday, another Army officer from his home town Dehradun, Major Vibhuti Singh Dhoundiyal, was killed in an encounter with Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants in Pulwama.
Three other soldiers and three militants were also killed in the day-long encounter, about 15km away from the spot where 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed in a suicide attack on a convoy by JeM militant Adil Ahmed Dar last Thursday.
Dhoundiyal’s wife Nitika - the two wed last April - was on her way to Delhi, where she works in a multinational firm, when she was told about her husband’s death.
“He was supposed to return home to celebrate his first wedding anniversary,” said cousin Ayushman Dhoundiyal, who said that he had last visited home over the Christmas holidays.
Dhoundiyal’s mother Saroj, grandmother Shakuntala and sister Vaishnavi live in the family home in Dehrudun, while two other sisters are married. According to the family Dhoundiyal’s father, OP Dhoundiyal, who retired as controller of defence accounts, died in 2015.
Dhoundiyal graduated from the Officer’s Training Academy, Chennai, in 2012.
Bisht, who was from the 2010 batch of Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, was in the Indian Army’s Corps of Engineers and was posted near the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir.
His body was brought by army personnel in Dehradun’s Old Nehru Colony on Monday evening, where it was received by large crowds including chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, other ministers, political leaders, and army, police and administrative officials.