A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) head constable, who survived the Pulwama terror attack in February, is being praised for his act of feeding a differently-abled boy while he was on duty in Nawakadal area in Srinagar’s old city on Monday.
A short video clip, showing Iqbal Singh, 44, feeding the boy, has gone viral on social media. Singh, a driver and posted with the 49th battalion, was deployed at on Monday for law and order duty, CRPF officials said.
The CRPF Director General (DG) has awarded Iqbal Singh with the DG’s Disc and a commendation certificate for his “humane and selfless act”.
Singh told The Indian Express that while he was having lunch on Monday, he saw a child sitting outside a shop, who made a gesture towards Singh to give food.
“I understood his (child) gesture and immediately offered him my lunch, but he couldn’t move his hands. Without wasting any time, I started feeding him food myself. When I finished it, I even cleaned his mouth. I have done this for the sake of humanity,” Singh said.
A resident of Jammu region, Singh says he never expected he would receive such praise.
“In our training, we are taught that we have to help everyone, no matter from where he comes or which religion he belongs. This act has given me so much of peace that I can’t express my feelings…He (the child) smiled when I gave him my lunch,” said Singh.
The official Twitter account of the CRPF, Srinagar sector, shared the video and wrote, “Humanity is the mother of all religions…. valour and compassion are two sides of the same coin.”
Till Tuesday evening, the video had nearly forty thousand views and five thousand likes.
Former Chief Minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, “Armed forces operating in Kashmir are often tarred with the same brush. But that generalisation can sometimes be grossly unfair. Salute this man’s sense of compassion & humanity.”
Singh’s daughter sent him the video clip on Tuesday morning. “My family was happy for this act. I was not aware that someone was recording a video. I would have never allowed it…( to be recorded),” he said.
A statement issued by the CRPF said that the DG has awarded Singh with the DG’s Disc anda commendation certificate. “While he was having his lunch, he saw a kid who was hungry. He gave his food to the kid only to realize later that the kid was paralytic and was unable to eat by himself. So Iqbal Singh fed the kid with his hands,” the statement said.
Singh had also played a crucial role in the February Pulwama attack, and according to a CRPF statement, had saved the lives of many personnel.
“That day, after the attack, CRPF men in the convoy were scared to go near the injured and the dead ones. I started contacting my seniors and informing them over the telephone the identity by checking the identity cards of dead and injured,” said Singh.