Soldiers’ families lose everything, but willing to sacrifice more
Some called their families hours before the attack. Some planned to go home in a few days. And yet others were on the phone with family members when a car packed with explosives rammed the bus carrying them from one transit camp in Jammu to another in Srinagar. Here are their stories:
Some called their families hours before the attack. Some planned to go home in a few days. And yet others were on the phone with family members when a car packed with explosives rammed the bus carrying them from one transit camp in Jammu to another in Srinagar on Thursday afternoon. Here are their stories:
Shyam Babu came home to Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur Dehat district last week. “He had just left to join duty on February 10 and we never even thought this would be his last visit to the family,” his father Ram Prasad said. Prasad said the news of his 30-year-old son’s death had devastated his daughter-in-law, Rubi Devi.
“The police had informed us about his death around 7pm on Thursday. His wife suffered severe trauma,” the bereaved father said.
Ramesh Yadav, a resident of Tohfapur village in Varanasi , had told his wife minutes before the attack that he was about to reach Srinagar. In the evening, the family received information about his death.
Constable Rohitash Lamba, 27, of Jaipur, had come home to participate in rituals for his two-month-old son earlier this month, said his uncle Kishan Lamba. His father Babulal Lamba, a daily wage-earner, took a break from his back-breaking work after Rohitash got a job in the CRPF around six years ago.
The story of CPRF constable Jeet Ram, 30, of Sundarwali village in Bharatpur, was also similar. His uncle Puran Singh said Jeet Ram was on leave until February 12 and had joined duty at the Jammu camp the next day. “Jeet Ram used to motivate local youth to join the army or paramilitary forces,” he said.
Twenty-six-year-old Kulwinder Singh’s father Darshan Singh says he is proud of his only son. Kulwinder is one of the four CRPF soldiers from Punjab who were killed. Darshan Singh, a driver, said Kulwinder had come home to attend the wedding of his aunt’s son and fix the date of his own marriage on November 8 this year.
CRPF assistant sub-inspector Mohan Lal Raturi of Uttarkashi was the sole earning member of his family, with five children, wife and two elderly parents. “Who will take care of my children now and such a big family? Can anyone compensate my kids for their father or me for my husband,” asked his wife Sarita Devi. The other soldier from Uttarakhand to die was constable Virendra Singh, 45, of Khatima. “It’s unfair. Our sons protect the people of country, but who will be responsible to protect them,” said Diwan Singh, his 80-year-old father.
Head constable Sanjay Kumar Sinha, 45, a resident of Masaurhi in rural Patna, was keen to get his elder daughter Ruby married by the end of this year. He had come home on a month’s leave and intended to return again next month to finalise a match. After hearing of her father’s passing, his younger daughter Tunni has fainted several times.
Constable Manoj Behera, 33, had called his wife in a Cuttack village, hours before the attack and inquired about their daughter, born a year ago. Constable Prasanna Kumar Sahu visited his home in Pariskihara village for two months to be with his wife Meena and children — 18-year-old daughter Rosy and 16-year-old son Jagan. “I am overwhelmed with grief over losing my father. At the same time I am proud that my father laid down his life for the country,” said Rosy.