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Slain CRPF soldiers’ kin hail IAF action, want government to uproot terror

They said India should maintain pressure on Pakistan and continue to take action till all the perpetrators of the attack are eliminated.

lucknow Updated: Feb 27, 2019 08:28 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
IAF,slain CRPF,IAFterrorist
The family of slain CRPF jawan Awadhesh Yadav at their house in Bahadurpur village, Chandauli(HT)

Families of CRPF soldiers, who lost their lives in a terrorist attack in Pulwama on February 14, on Tuesday lauded the Indian Air Force (IAF) for launching air strikes on terror camps across the Line of Control (LoC) but demanded that the government should continue measures to uproot terrorism.

They said India should maintain pressure on Pakistan and continue to take action till all the perpetrators of the attack are eliminated.

Sanju Devi (25), widow of CRPF soldier Mahesh Yadav of Meja tehsil in Prayagraj, said: “Whatever the government is doing now to weed out terror camps across the border should have been done earlier. More such strikes should be carried out to avenge the death of our soldiers.”

“The government should either finish Pakistan forever or stop recruiting soldiers in security forces if they are to meet the same fate like Mahesh. We should not lose more soldiers,” she said.

“A day before the terrorist attack, Mahesh told me that he would come soon and we would go to Kumbh Mela to take a holy dip. But now he will never return. My sons, Samar (5) and Sahil (4), look at his photograph and ask why we have put a garland on it. What should I tell them and what would they understand at this age?” she said.

On Tuesday afternoon, activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took out a procession from Mahesh’s house shouting slogans against Pakistan and lauding the sacrifice of the soldiers.

In Varanasi’s Tofapur village, Renu Yadav, widow of CRPF jawan Ramesh Yadav, welcomed the IAF strikes but said she would be satisfied only when Prime Minister Narendra Modi took steps to ensure that no soldier was killed in future.

In Bahadurpur village of Chandauli district, Harikesh Yadav, father of CRPF jawan Awadhesh Yadav, said the IAF action had brought some respite but the government should eliminate terrorism.

Awadhesh’s widow Shilpi Yadav said, “The Army should continue taking action against terrorists to ensure no mother loses her son and no wife loses her husband.”

In Maharajganj, Rohini Tripathi, the young widow of CRPF constable Pankaj Tripathi, expressed satisfaction over the retaliatory action against Pakistan by the IAF but sought further action against it till all the perpetrators of the attack are eliminated. “Action should continue till the terrorist camps in Pakistan are completely obliterated. We can’t see our soldiers being killed every next day in terror attacks,” she said.

“This is what we had been expecting from the government and the army, both of whom should be thanked for this morale-boosting strike. Still, a lot of militants are hiding in Pakistan and more operations are needed to eliminate them,” said Vijay Laxmi, widow of Vijay Maurya, as Jaidev Chapia village of Deoria erupted in joy after the news of air strikes in Pakistan reached it.

In Kanpur Dehat, Ram Kartar, father of jawan Shyam Babu, said: “I want to ensure that Pakistan is vanished from the map.”

People also put up the national flag next to the spot where Shyam Babu was cremated and raised pro-India and anti-Pakistan slogans. They saluted the flag and hailed the Indian soldiers for their bravery. “Dhokhe se maartey hain (They attack and kill by deceit),” the villagers said.

Meena Gautam, widow of Ajit Kumar of Unnao, said: “One strike is not enough. There should be many more of them.”

A youth sitting next to her, however, questioned the authenticity of the government’d claim that there have been several casualties on the Pakistani side.

“Pakistan has only admitted to the strike. Not casualties,” he said.

Rahul, son of Ram Vakeel of Mainpuri, said his father’s sacrifice shouldn’t go in vain. “I want more of such attacks,” he said.

“There is some satisfaction now of having avenged Pulwama. They killed our son in a manner most foul. This was a proxy war. We need to ensure that there are no more such attacks,” said Amar and Sarojini Singh, parents of slain CRPF soldier Pradeep Singh from Ajaan village of Kannauj.

Neeraj Yadav, Pradeep’s wife, is still in a state of shock and was unable to speak.

For the first time in 12 days, Tuesday’s IAF airstrike on terror camps brought a slight smile to the face of Mamata Rawat, the widow of CRPF jawan from Agra Kaushal Kumar Rawat.

“I came to know about the news early in the morning and rushed to my mother to tell her about it. I saw a slight smile and satisfaction on her face for the first time,” said Kaushal’s daughter Apoorva Rawat.

“It is the beginning of action against Pakistan and we hope it would be taken to its logical end. I cannot rejoice as I have lost my father but I can sleep better tonight,” she said.

(Inputs by Kenneth John in Prayagraj, Sudhir Kumar in Varanasi, Haider Naqvi in Kanpur, Abdul Jadid in Gorakhpur and Hemendra Chaturvedi in Agra)

First Published: Feb 27, 2019 08:28 IST