Havildar Nimb Singh Rawat, 48
Rajawa, Rajsamand (Rajasthan)
The last time Havildar Nimb Singh Rawat spoke to his family members was eight days ago. “He had spoken to his wife briefly. The mobile network here doesn’t allow for longer conversations,” says Laxman Singh, his younger brother.
The village, located about 15 km off the NH 8, is at the far end of a network of country roads, crisscrossing the undulating, rocky landscape dominated by the Aravallis.
It is 3 pm and the Rawat home is full of friends, relatives and others waiting for his body to arrive. Rawat is survived by wife Rodi Devi, daughters Asha (15), Deepa (13), Nisha (10), Payal (7) and son Chandan (5). Of the four Rawat brothers, Rawat was the only one with a job. “Arre Bhai da, kathe giyo paro (Brother, where have you gone),” wails Nimb’s younger brother Prabhu. His elder brother Rashu and his cousin Koonp Singh have accompanied the tehsildar to Udaipur to get the body home.
Speaking over the phone, Rashu says: “The government should do something to defeat terrorism, end it forever. Attack Pakistan if you have to, but please end this trouble and uncertainty for our soldiers.”
“We just want his children’s education to continue. How will his daughters get married now? The government should provide someone in the family with a job.”
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Rawat was transferred to Uri 20 days ago from New Jalpaiguri. “He couldn’t come home before joining duty at his new posting. He came home for a month in July and left before Rakshabandhan,” says Rawat’s friend Havildar Narendra Singh, posted at Jabalpur.