In village of soldiers, anger mounts over mutilation

Singh’s parents Phool Singh (55) and mother Nirmala (48) struggled to contain their emotions and anger.

Written by Sanjeev Verma | Anteri | Updated: November 1, 2016 12:26 pm
Family members of Sepoy Mandeep Singh at his residence in village Anteri Kurushetra on Saturday, October 29 2016. Express photo by Sahil Walia Family members of Sepoy Mandeep Singh at his residence in village Anteri Kurushetra on Saturday, October 29 2016. Express photo by Sahil Walia

SEPOY Mandeep Singh was to come home on leave for Diwali. His family will now receive his body on the day of the festival. All day Saturday, they kept waiting for the body to arrive. However, Army authorities kept the mortal remains of the 27-year-old, who was killed and his body mutilated by terrorists in the Machil sector of Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir, at the Military Hospital mortuary.

Singh would now be cremated with full State honours at his village Anteri in Kurukshetra on Sunday morning. The village of around 2,000 people has a long history of sending its young to the defence forces. It has over a dozen retired soldiers, while around 15 of its youths are currently serving either in the Army or the BSF. But the news of Singh’s body being mutilated has left them in shock, and the village united behind his family as they sought “a head for a head” on Saturday.

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Neighbours and friends recalled Singh as a humble man, full of life, who enrolled in the Sikh Light Infantry in 2009 after doing his Class 12 at the village senior secondary school. He got married just two and a half years ago. His wife, Prerna, 26, a constable with the Haryana Police, was in shock on Saturday.

Family members came to know about the incident around 1 am early Saturday morning, after a team of Army personnel from the Western Command at Chandimandir arrived at their house. In a few hours, the news spread, and the three-room, single-storey house at the end of one of the streets of Anteri received visitors through the day Saturday, offering condolences. Haryana ministers Karan Dev Kamboj and Krishan Pal Gujjar were among those who came.

Elder brother Sandeep Kumar (29), who works as a farmer, said Singh had taken leave and was to come home for Diwali as well as to attend the housewarming of their newly constructed house. Singh had last come for a month in March, for his wedding anniversary. Asking the government to act, Kumar said, “Do not force soldiers to be killed in instalments. Declare a war at once and see the bravery of sons of the soil.”

Singh’s parents Phool Singh (55) and mother Nirmala (48) struggled to contain their emotions and anger. Phool Singh, who works as a driver, said, “Ab to aar-paar karna hi hoga. Hamein sar ke badle sar chahiye (It is time for do or die. We want a head for a head).”

Her voice breaking, Nirmala said, “Sarkar ko badla lena hoga, nahin to fauj mein log jana band kar denge (The government must take revenge. Else, people will stop joining the armed forces).”

While Prerna was in no condition to talk, her brother Prakshit Tomar, who is in the BSF and was earlier posted in J&K, said they were raring to take on the terrorists. “Our government would have to take a strong stand on Pakistan stabbing us in the back. Give us orders and we will finish the story in a day.”

Kurukshetra district has now lost two security personnel in a week in J&K. Earlier, on October 24, BSF Constable Sushil Kumar from Pehowa in Kurukshetra had been killed in shelling from Pakistani Rangers along the international border in Jammu.

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  1. F
    Oct 30, 2016 at 9:22 am
    Prateek have seen how s are plugged. Your will be drilled soon
  2. T
    Oct 30, 2016 at 4:07 am
    Last time same kind of Incident happened our brave soldiers brought the head of stani Rangers in operation, waiting to hear from DGMO, same good news.
  3. A
    Oct 30, 2016 at 12:48 am
    It call for reciprocal action by Indians however mean and lowly it may be.
    1. K
      Oct 30, 2016 at 1:44 pm
      How low can Islam go? This shows how they treat other humans when they get an upper hand, this has been true throughout History, unfortunately Indian History books have been edited to show the untruth, it is full of lies about the Mughals, there is not one chapter telling the brutality of the Muslim emperors.
      1. E
        Oct 30, 2016 at 3:51 am
        it's unending war
        1. C
          Cyber m@n
          Oct 30, 2016 at 5:16 am
          everything is fair in love and war, but mutilation, killing women, children, oldies, ill ones, destroying crops and animals are completely forbidden in islam while in a full fledged;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Such acts and the so called reaction from indian army shown everyday is a gimmick. indian people are be-fooled through the power of media.
          1. J
            Joseph R Stephen
            Oct 30, 2016 at 4:17 am
            Yes we just dont want head for head. W want this BJP clowns to initiate full operations against the terrorist camps in;br/gt;lt;br/gt;We just dont wnat them sitting in Air conditioned offices and making statements daily - how great is the surgical strike.
            1. M
              Oct 30, 2016 at 6:20 am
              "Yes we can" US version obama could kill world's once most wanted Terrorist osama bin laden inside stan. but why Indian version "Yes we can" Modi can't kill all terrorists inside stan.
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