Grief blends with anger in Bihar which lost five sons of the soil in Ladakh face-off
Bihar reacted with a blend of grief, anger and the spirit to make sacrifices in national interest, as news reached that the stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh has killed 20 soldiers of the country, five of them hailing from the state.Updated: Jun 18, 2020 15:36 IST
Bihar reacted with a blend of grief, anger and the spirit to make sacrifices in national interest, as news reached that the stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh has killed 20 soldiers of the country, five of them hailing from the state.
Political rivalries were set aside for the moment as Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and other ministers stood beside Leader of the Opposition Tejashwi Yadav and Jan Adhikar Party founder Pappu Yadav at the airport here when the mortal remains of Havildar Sunil Kumar were brought by a special aircraft.
Floral wreaths were placed on the Army man’s body by the leaders and relatives who had arrived from his ancestral home in Bihta, about 30 km away, as his bereaved parents, wife and children sobbed uncontrollably.
BJP MP Ram Kripal Yadav, under whose Lok Sabha constituency Pataliputra, the home of the deceased Havildar falls, was seen driving behind the decked up vehicle in which the body was taken for the last rites.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who offered his condolences no sooner than the news of the killing of jawans from the state was received the previous night, could not come to the airport as he was attending Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s video conference on the Covid-19 pandemic, sources said.
In Samastipur district, family members of Sepoy Aman Kumar Singh were crestfallen when they learnt that the jawan, who got married only last year, had laid down his life.
Bhai Randhir, a resident of the village said, “We are all proud of the sacrifice Aman has made but his family members are, naturally, shattered. We are looking forward to the arrival of his body. His family members are hoping against hope that the news they received late last night might turn out to be false.”
RJD MLA Ejya Yadav, under whose Rajnagar assembly segment the deceased jawan’s village falls, also visited the house and tried to console the grief-stricken family members.
In Chakfatah village of Vaishali district, the mother of Jai Kishor Singh has been crying ever since she learnt that her younger son, who joined the Army two years ago and whose marriage was being planned, has been killed in Ladakh.
His father Raj Kishor Singh, a farmer, said, “He got inspired by his elder brother Nand Kishor Singh who was the first in the family to join the Army. We have suffered an unbearable loss but we have the satisfaction that our son will be remembered as a martyr.”
Similar sentiments were expressed by Nimindra Yadav of Saharsa who lost his son Kundan Kumar in the clash. Survived by wife and two sons aged eight and four years, Kundan Kumar had joined the Army in 2012.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav also contacted Kundan’s bereaved family through video conference and assured them of all support.
The bereaved father said, “We feel devastated. But mark my words, I would like both my grandsons to serve the country like their father by joining the Army.” Arrah, the district headquarters of Bhojpur which takes pride in its martial character, has been reverberating with anti-China slogans ever since Chandan Yadav’s family learnt that the young sepoy has been slain.
The bereaved father Hridayanand Singh, a retired Home Guard, sought to bear the loss stoically pointing out that his two elder sons are also in the Army, posted in other parts of the country.
Youngest among five siblings, Chandan was supposed to get married in May but the wedding had to be put on hold because of the lockdown.
In the state capital, several students’ and citizens’ groups took out processions hailing the Army’s valour and denouncing China’s “aggression”.
They raised slogans declaring that Bihar has made sacrifices in all wars the country has fought and was ready for more if the situation so demanded.