THE FAMILY of 50-year-old Havildar Sanjeev Kumar woke up on Sunday morning to know that he had died in the terror attack on Pathankot air base. Hours ago, the family had rushed to Pathankot from their village in Sehwan in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh to see him after hearing that he was injured in the terror attack. But the family was not allowed to see him and were told to return home.
According to Ajay Kumar, an up-pradhan of Sehwan panchayat, the only brief that Sanjeev’s family received on Saturday was that he has been referred to a military hospital and was admitted in the ICU.
“They (the authorities) told us that he is alive; injured but recovering fast. There was a gunbattle going on. No one was allowed to go,” recalled wife Pinki Devi.
The family is now making arrangement for the funeral as the body is expected to arrive on Monday.
“It’s a tragedy not just for me but the entire nation. I may have lost my son but I can take pride as he fought the terrorists who had a plan to blow up the air force base and destablise the nation. My sympathies for all men who lost their lives and did not allow the Pakistan-backed militants to harm the country. We are waiting for his body so that we could lay him to rest in the national tricolor,” said father Rattan Singh, who like his son, had served the Army.
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After retiring from the Army six years ago, Sanjeev had joined the Defence Security Core (DSC) and was posted at the Pathankot air base. He leaves behind two daughters and a son. While the elder daughter is doing a computer training course, the other is studying in Class XI. The son is studying B.Pharmacy from Pathankot.