Rasoolan Bibi, widow of 1965 war hero Abdul Hamid, dies
Rasoolan Bibi, the 95-year-old widow of Havildar Abdul Hamid who was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra for his contribution to the 1965 India-Pakistan war, died at her home in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur district on Friday after a brief illness.
Her grandson, Jamil Alam, 34, said she had been taking complete rest at home and taking all her medicines on time, but her condition suddenly deteriorated around noon on Friday and she passed on.
She was taken to a doctor in Dhamupur village a week ago after she fell ill, Jamil said. “He prescribed some medicines and advised her to consult a physician in Varanasi. We wanted to take her to Varanasi for treatment but she refused to go.”
People from nearby areas thronged their home as news of her death spread. Two years ago, Rasoolan Bibi had made headlines when she said army chief General Bipin Rawat was like her son.
The occasion was the 52nd anniversary of Abdul Hamid’s martyrdom, during which Gen Rawat -- accompanied by his wife Madhulika and other officials -- felicitated Rasoolan Bibi, bowed and touched her feet. His gesture was cheered by everyone in the audience.
Later, Gen Rawat had said, “Rasoolan Bibi is more like a mother. I felt as if I was felicitating my mother. Therefore, I bowed before her and touched her feet as a mark of respect to her. It is a matter of great pride and respect to see her at this event.”
During the event, Gen Rawat had saluted her as she presented him a memento and blessed him. She also asked him, “Babu, did you drink water and eat anything?”
Later she had said, “Gen Rawat is like my son. He touched my feet. This is a great honour for me. I offered my blessings to him and wished him great success on all fronts. I am quite delighted that he visited our place on my invitation. He kept his word.”