Lt Col Sankalp Kumar, the lone officer among 10 security personnel martyred in Uri on Friday.
This tough officer from 24 Punjab regiment, was martyred in the Uri attack on Friday, leaving behind wife and these two cute daughters. All these are known facts.
What is relatively lesser known is this story shared by another officer.
“Sirs, when I came to know the name, Sankalp Kumar, it brought back memories of April 2003.The scene was 92 Base Hospital, Srinagar.
Myself and Sankalp lying next to each other in ICU. Both were recently operated upon.
Lt. Col Sankalp Kumar with his daughters.
He had got gun shot wounds. I was badly injured in grenade and IED blast.
His injuries were peculiar.
He had caught a burst of AK on his stomach. Some which hit the magazines which he was carrying and live rounds were extracted from his belly..His parents came over and would always talk to both of us. Even in ICU he was full of fun and his never ending jokes caused a lot of pain as both of us since we had over 40 stitches on the stomach.
He was a soldier in the truest sense. It is officers like him. He is Lt Colonel Sankalp Kumar, martyred in the line of duty in Uri. He was already a battle casualty. Not recommended to serve in a field area. But, he volunteered to serve in Kashmir for the love of his Paltan, 24 Punjab.
THAT IS THE CHARACTER OF THE INDIAN ARMY. GOD BLESS HIS SOUL.”
Adds a veteran:
“Thank God for giving us Lt Col Sankalp Kumar and many other soldiers like him. It is because of them that this country can sleep in comparative peace. In spite of being a battle casualty already and NOT required to again serve in a field area, he VOLUNTEERED to be with his men, That is the spirit of soldiering, I feel.
But, what irritates me is the topsyturvy priorities of the media. A few days back, all the TV channels that I see were busy giving live coverage of the Australian cricketer, who succumbed after getting hit by a bouncer. But, not a word about the 3 soldiers who died that day in Kashmir. Seems what a minister in Bihar said is true. When he was asked why he did not attend the cremation of a martyred soldier from his village, he had said: What is new? He is paid to die for his country.
“This is the most demoralising mindset that a soldier gets from an ungrateful nation. Think it over.`I wrote on this to many of the editors of newspapers & magazines. None of them thought the idea is worth publishing. Those of you, who have access to such persons, may try your luck, if you feel the idea is correct.”
However if the government and society at large continue to ignore the soldier, we as a nation are in serious trouble.
Let us all introspect and take corrective measures before its too late.
January 4, 2015 -