By now everyone is aware of the 20 soldiers who were killed in an ambush by insurgents in Manipur’s Chandel district on Thursday morning in one of the worst attacks on the Army in years together. The troops of 6 Dogra Regiment were de-inducting from the area and were returning to a peace posting.
The insurgents initially used an improvised explosive device (IED) and then furthered their attack on the convoy with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons. Before this ambush, the situation in Chandel had been largely peaceful.
Out of the 20 martyrs, 6 were from Jammu and 11 from Himachal Pradesh. Three among the six were from Akhnoor and U4UVoice managed to speak with the family of Lance Naik Kuldeep Raj who was just the age of 35 years and had joined the Indian Army after completing Matriculation.
Sadly, L. Nk. Kuldeep Raj was due to return on a month long holiday two days from now. Coming from a village called Barn in Bhalwal, Jammu, Kuldeep is survived by a 3 year old daughter and a wife. Belonging to a family of three brothers and a widower sister, L. Nk. Kuldeep was the sole bread winner of the family where the two elder brothers have been daily wagers who wanted their younger brother to study and become something in life.
When we spoke to his wife, Kuldeep also came across as a much forward looking person. The couple had their daughter after three years of marriage and Kuldeep had celebrated her birth by distributing sweets in the whole village.
What Kuldeep’s inconsolable wife said swept the ground beneath our feet.
“He never left me alone when he was home. He would assist me in everything cleaning the utensils, cutting the vegetables, preparing food for the family. He would never leave me alone and now he has left me forever.”
His childhood friends all said the same thing, “He inspired us all to study and join the Indian army. Everyone in the village would come down to hear his stories of deadly encounters with the terrorists in Kashmir.
A cowardly ambush by the insurgents is the most pathetic way to express rebellion.
U4UVoice salutes the supreme sacrifice made by Lance Naik Kuldeep Raj!
2) Nb. Sub. Ram Singh (Age: 39 years – from Samba, Jammu and Kashmir)
3) Hav. Sat Pal Bhasin (Age: 39 years – from Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir)
4) Hav. Sunil Kumar Sharma (Age: 33 years – from Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir)
5) Hav. Randeep Singh (Age: 38 years – from Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir)
6) Sep. Vijay Kumar (Age: 27 years – from Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir)