Nagrota attack: Pain immense, but proud he died fighting, says a father

Two officers among 7 personnel dead.

Written by Sushant Kulkarni , Johnson TA | Pune/ Bengaluru | Updated: November 30, 2016 7:09 pm
Nagrota, Jammu and Kashmir attack, Nagrota attack, Jammu and kashmir, J&K militants, J&K encounter, Kashmir encounter, Ramgarh sector , samba, Manohar Parrikar, Parrikar, narendra Modi, Modi, PM Modi, india news, indian express news Major Kunal Gosavi; Lance Naik Sambhaji Kadam.

Three days before he was killed in a terror attack Tuesday on an artillery unit in Nagrota, Major Kunal Gosavi bid farewell to his family in Pandharpur in Solapur district of Maharashtra, ending a month’s leave that had taken him to his hometown.

The 32-year-old, along with his wife Uma and their three-year-old daughter Umang, set out for Jammu from Pandharpur on November 26. He had to join duty on Monday.

Kunal’s family received a phone call Tuesday morning from the commanding officer of his unit who informed them of his death.

WATCH VIDEO: BJP, Congress Engage In War Of Words Over Nagrota Attack

Shattered, father Munnagir Gosavi said: “There is immense pain because I have lost a son. But I am proud that my son breathed his last while fighting for the country. I want to tell the government to fight a decisive war against the enemy before more precious lives are lost.”

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Other than his wife and child, Kunal is survived by his parents and two brothers. The Gosavi family owns farms in Wakhari village and shops in Pandharpur town. Kunal has two elder brothers who look after the family business.

He completed his schooling from Pandharpur and graduated from the Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce in Pune before joining the Army in 2006. He married Uma in 2009.

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Thirty-five-year-old Sambhaji Yashwant Kadam, among those killed in the Nagrota attack, hailed from Janapuri village in Loha tehsil of Nanded district in Maharashtra. Kadam is survived by his father Yashwant, mother Lata, wife Sheetal, three-year-old daughter Tejaswini and two sisters.

The family owns a small farm in Janapuri. Village sarpanch Bala Patil brought them news of Kadam’s death. District officials said they were in contact with Defence officers to make arrangements for bringing Kadam’s body to his village.

In Bengaluru, soon after news came in of the death of Major Akshay Girish Kumar, former course mate Amit Sonu described him as a “true gentleman… always smiling’’. “Buddy u will always be missed,’’ said the Facebook post of Amit Sonu who figures among Major Akshay’s social media friends.

In May this year, 31-year-old Akshay signed a petition on Change.org, asking the Chief Minister of Haryana to provide justice to Major Sushil Chhikara whose family had been murdered.

Son of former IAF pilot Girish Kumar, Akshay always had a view on issues concerning the armed forces — from the OROP to the killing of Captain Saurabh Kalia at the start of the Kargil War.

An alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Akshay married friend Sangeeta Ravindran around four years ago. The couple have a daughter who is three years old. The couple lived in Kolkata and Pune before Akshay was posted to J&K. His wife and daughter were at Nagrota on Tuesday when the attack took place.

Akshay’s father Girish Kumar and mother Meghna Girish are residents of Bengaluru. A sister too lives in the city.