Pathankot martyr: We heard gunfire and came out to look for Papa, says Fateh Singh’s daughter

Unaware Fateh Singh had already fallen, his wife and kids tried to alert him after they heard sounds of gunfire.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jhanda Gujjaran (gurdaspur) | Published:January 4, 2016 3:24 am
pathankot attack, pathankot terror attack, pathankot air base attack, Pathankot martyr, fateh singh, pathankot fateh singh, patahnkot news, india news, latest news Family Members of Martyr Defence Security Corps (DSC) Fateh Singh (inset) mourning at his house in Gurdaspur on Sunday. (Source: PTI)

The sound of gunfire shook Subedar Fateh Singh’s family from sleep. He had gone out on duty and the family’s first thought was to alert him not to go towards that side of the mess, said his daughter Madhu Radha, 23, but their calls went unanswered. It was only the following day that they got to know he had fallen to terrorists’ bullets.

Singh, a shooter who won gold and silver for India at the 1995 Commonwealth Games, retired as an honorary captain from the Dogra Regiment in 2009, then joined the Defence Service Corps and was posted in Pathankot a year-and-a-half ago. His family lives in Mhow.

Madhu, her younger brother Nitin and their mother Shobha had arrived in Pathankot for the holidays only two days earlier. They were sleeping in Singh’s single room when the shots woke them.

“Papa left around 2 am as his duty was to start at 3 am. After we heard the shots we got up and came out and started looking for Papa,” said Madhu, a postgraduate in English working as a teacher.

“An Air Force personnel asked us to go inside as the firing was very close to our room and told us that some terrorists have entered the air base. We went inside and hid under the bed… Not knowing that Papa had already fallen to terrorists’ bullets, we kept calling on his cellphone but got no reply,” she told The Indian Express from Mhow, where the family has returned.

“In the morning, a close friend of Papa took us to his home. They told us he was admitted to hospital with a bullet injury but he was fine. We waited all day and when my mother insisted on meeting my father, she was told only today (Sunday) about his death while we came to know about it in the evening,” she said.

Singh has another son, Gurdeep, who is in the Army and is on his way from Assam.

Fateh Singh’s brother Surjeet Singh said, “This is the second time he has done his country proud. The first time was by winning medals, this time he has sacrificed his life for the security of the country.”

Partap Singh, a retired Army veteran from the same village as Fateh Singh, said the latter had been honoured for his performance at the Commonwealth Games by then prime minister H D Deve Gowda.

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  1. K
    Jan 4, 2016 at 2:41 pm
    While we salute this brave soldier and others who have laid their lives for the country, it is important for the country to recognize the short comings in their border deployment. How could six terrorists with all this load of weapons come into India undetected? Then they rob a SP's vehicle that cannot be tracked or traced. There has to be inside help for this to have happened. Punjab is filled with Bangla Deshi workers as farm hand, this is a very dangerous situation for India to let so many Muslims int he border town who owe no allegiance to India.
    1. D
      Divaker Kumar
      Jan 4, 2016 at 11:09 am
      1. D
        Dinesh Singh
        Jan 4, 2016 at 3:00 am
        Rest in peace brother. we are very proud of you.
        1. S
          Jan 4, 2016 at 8:15 am
          Om Shanti....JSG !!
          1. J
            Jan 4, 2016 at 6:29 pm
            Media should not use the same word for everyone who died in the battle. Use a degrading word for terrorists who died. Investigate on correct Hebrew degrading word that could give degraded meaning in English. Use that degrading word instead of martyr word for terrorists who were killed. India needs to have spies inside the country to hunt mole network.
            1. R
              Rajesh Mohanty
              Jan 4, 2016 at 5:29 am
              We, the countrymen salute you brother. You have earned a place at Veer Swarga (Heaven of the Heroes)
              1. M
                Jan 4, 2016 at 4:13 am
                The man was a true hero.. We are proud of you but the sad part is India lost another brave son of the soil.. May your soul rest in peace and may god give strength to the family.
                1. V
                  Jan 4, 2016 at 5:28 am
                  People of India salute martyr Fateh Singh
                  1. T
                    Tathagata Ghosh
                    Jan 4, 2016 at 1:48 am
                    1. S
                      Shrikant Sharma
                      Jan 4, 2016 at 6:07 am
                      WE SALUTE YOU.
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