Bauria, West Bengal: When you meet a grief-stricken family, you are initially at a loss of words. But as you enter the house of martyr Bablu Santra, who was one of the 40 soldiers killed in a fidayeen attack in Pulwama on Thursday, the ambience exudes one that of vengeance.
And yes, the family members are desperate for yet another surgical strike to take revenge of the heinous attack.
Talking to mediapersons, not just the family members of the martyred soldier but the entire village wants to see another 'surgical strike' which will not only avenge the death but will also stop more terrorist attacks in India.
Bablu’s mother, Bonomala, who was crying inconsolably, said, “I want justice for my son. The Modi government should plan for another surgical strike to punish the killers. I have lost my son but will definitely pray so that no other parents lose their children.”
His mother also added that Bablu had joined CRPF 'for the sake of the family'.
“He studied hard and sold fish at Uluberia market before being selected as a jawan. We had to send him for the sake of earning bread for the family. Moreover, he had decided to serve the Motherland,” said his youngest sister Pampa Mondol.
A day before he was killed in the horrific suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir, trooper Bablu Santra had called his mother back at his residence in Chengrail, Howrah, to inquire about his kin.
“On February 13, Bablu called his mother to inquire about our health. He even asked if everyone in the family had taken their meals or not. He even wanted to know if his daughter Piyal Santra (6) had boarded the school bus safely. He was our heartbeat,” said his sobbing eldest sister Saraswati Khelu.
Khelu also added, “When the Modi government did the surgical strike, Bablu was very happy. We all hope that the BJP government does another strike for my brother’s death.”
As the continual wails of Bablu’s wife Mita Santra and mother broke the uncanny silence of his home, other members of the family and friends called for revenge for the killings.
“We want the killing of my uncle and others who died with him avenged. Those behind the cowardly attack must be taught a lesson they don't forget. Pakistan didn’t learn anything from the previous surgical strike, another strike might help them learn things better. Hope they dare not look at India,” said Raghubir Mondol, a nephew of the martyred soldier.
Remembering his uncle's advice to join the paramilitary forces, Mondol claimed that his uncle always advised him to dedicate his life for the nation.
"My uncle always wanted me to appear for the test of paramilitary forces. For him serving the nation was very important," said Mondol before bursting into tears.
“I last spoke to him on Wednesday. He had just reached Kashmir then from Himachal Pradesh after training. He would have completed 20 years in service this year and planned to return home after that. His retirement was scheduled in the next eight months. He was also scheduled to visit us on March 2 and we also thought of a small outing,” added another nephew of the soldier.
State minister Arup Roy visited the family and offered condolences on behalf of the ruling Trinamool Congress government.
The villagers now console themselves saying that a 'dedicated boy' of their village will receive the gun salute. Bablu, a volleyball player, couldn't join CRPF in 1999 for being underage. In 2000 he again got a call from CRPF and then he joined the force as a constable.
Bablu is survived by his wife, daughter, mother, a brother and four sisters. Bablu had visited his residence in January to celebrate his daughter’s birthday and stayed for 15 days.
Gloom in 'village of jawans'
A pall of gloom descended on Khudawal village in Madhya Pradesh's Jabalpur district as the news of Ashvni Kumar Kachi's death in the suicide bomb attack spread. Ashvni Kumar Kachi, 30, of 35Bn Central Reserve Police Force was among those 40 personnel martyred in Thursday’s terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Khudawal is known as 'Fauji Village' as nearly 50 villagers have joined the defence forces from this small hamlet of 3,000 people.
Ashvni's father is a daily-wage labourer and mother rolled beedis to earn a living. “His mother Kaushalya Devi stopped rolling beedis after he joined CRPF two years ago,” said Ravikant Yadav, a neighbour of Ashvni.
Ashvni is survived by his 70-year-old father and 64-year-old mother, three brothers and a sister.
The Madhya Pradesh government has announced an ex gratia of Rs 1 crore, a house and a government job for the bereaved family.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath is expected to visit Khudawal village on Saturday.
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