Everything will eventually return to normal at the Pathankot Airbase, but one thing that will never return is the lives of the 8 martyrs who laid down their lives in the volley of firings exchanged.
The terrorist attacks at the Airbase have left us short of 8 brave people who had the guts to face death as it came, without flinching, and all for the country they love. Here what you should know more about them:
1. Lieutenant Colonel of the National Security Guard, Niranjan Kumar
Lt. Col Niranjan Kumar was a native of Elambulassery near Mannarkkad in Palakkad. He died after he succumbed to injuries which he sustained while he was trying to retrieve a live grenade from the body of a dead terrorist.
According to his father Shivraj, Lt Colonel Niranjan always wanted to wear the uniform and also added, “He always wanted to join the Army. He loved the uniform. In our native village, he’s the first person to become a Lieutenant Colonel. Everybody there wants to see him, so we’ll take him there.”
Lt. Col. Niranjan Kumar lost his mother at the age of 4, but he always had a bold attitude towards life, knowing full well the risks that his job brought him. As rightly said by his sister Bhagyalakshmi he is a Yudh Veer.
2. Capt. Fateh Singh
The Commonwealth Games was not the only place where Capt. Fateh Singh proved his mettle. He was a national-level shooter and had retired from the 15 Dogra Regiment and joined the DSC (Defence Security Corps), a specialised unit that provides security at defence ministry sites.
Before he laid down his life at Pathankot, Fateh Singh had made the country proud by winning gold and silver in the 300m big bore team and individual events during the first Commonwealth Shooting Championship in Delhi, 1995.
Fateh Singh is survived by wife Madhu Bala and sons Gurdeep Singh Deepu and Nitin Thakur. It is surprising to note that like father, like son, Gurdeep Singh Deepu is also serving at the 15 Dogra Regiment.
3. Garud Commando Corporal Gursewak Singh
Even though Corporal Gursewak Singh had a B.A. degree, he knew right from the start where his true calling was, and joined the army soon after he finished his degree. His father, Suchha Singh, brother Hardeep Singh, and uncle Havildar Om Prakash have served in the army.
His father says he is proud of his son and would encourage his grandson to serve the army as well. Gursewak is survived by his newlywed bride who still wears the bright red choora (bright red bangles that new brides wear).
Gursewak Singh was a one-of-a-kind youth who served the nation diligently, and the nation will ever be in his debt.
4. Havaldar Kulwant Singh of DSC
Hawaldar Kulwant Singh who was from Gurdaspur also lost his life with the other 6 brave martyrs in the Pathankot attacks. He joined the army at the age of 19, an age when youths across the nation are aiming to improve their lives, Kulwant Singh was already prepared to lay down his life for the country if need be.
He retired in 2004 and joined the DSC. Kulwant Singh is survived by his wife and two sons.
5. Havaldar Jagdish Chandra
Jagdish Chandra was working in the kitchen as a cook when he saw one group of terrorist inch towards the mess and tackled one bare-handed before snatching the rifle from the terrorists and killing him.
Its is after this that the other 3 terrorists noticed him, shot him and martyred him. His brazen take on the terrorists will forever be remembered.
6. Havaldar Sanjeevan Singh Rana
Havildar Sanjeevan Singh Rana martyred on the first day of the attacks. It took 5 bullets to stop the brave soldier – definitely no ordinary man.
Sanjeevan Singh’s father had also served in the army and he is survived by his wife and 3 children, who have now lost their only breadwinner, but gained the entire nation’s love and respect for giving us Havildar Sanjeevan Singh Rana.
7. Havaldar Mohit Chand
While we are yet to be updated about Mohit Chand’s life, of one thing we can be sure. He was no less than any of the other 6 martyrs who served the nation and the army and laid down their lives to protect its border.
8. IAF Commando Kartar Singh
Further information about Kartar Singh is yet to be received, but we will keep you updated.