BSF trooper Rockey emptied his entire magazine containing 40 bullets when two heavily-armed militants attacked the security convoy in Udhampur, saving the day for the force as his ultimate sacrifice safeguarded the lives of 44 unarmed personnel.
The 25-year-old trooper kept the militants engaged as the reinforcement reached the spot only after 20 minutes.
BSF officials said Rockey kept both the militants engaged and did not allow them to lob grenades on the bus full of BSF personnel.
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While one militant was killed at the spot, the other was later nabbed.
Rockey’s colleague and driver of the bus Shubhendu Roy was also killed in the attack when militant punctured the tyres of the bus to immobilise it and then took targets to hit BSF men present inside in Udhampur district yesterday.
As top BSF officials praised the courage of the trooper, a pall of gloom descended on his nondescript village in Haryana.
Life seems to have come to a standstill in Ramgarh Majra village in Haryana’s Yamunanagar district after the news of the attack on a BSF convoy near Udhampur yesterday reached there.
The brave heart’s father Preetpal said his son was with the family just two weeks back.
“Little did I no that he will meet this fate,” Preetpal said.
He, however, added, “My village and the entire country feels proud that he has laid down his life for the nation’s sake”.
DSP Bilaspur Subhash Chand, who was present at the house of the martyr at Ramgarh Majra, said Rockey’s body was expected to reach the village in the evening.
Giving details of the martyr’s family, he said, “Apart from his father Preetpal, Rockey is survived by brother Rohit, younger sister Neha and mother Angrozei Devi.”
“While Rohit is also trying to get recruited in the armed forces, Neha is pursuing a nursing course,” Chand said.
He said Rockey had joined the force nearly two-and-a-half years back.
Asked if any other member from the family was in the armed forces, the DSP said, “His uncle Ram Swarup was in the defence force.”
At the martyr’s village, which has about 700-800 voters, people were pouring in to pay their tributes.
“People in the family and other villagers are sad. At the same time they are saluting the martyr for his bravery. Villagers are feeling proud at the supreme sacrifice he has made,” Chand said.