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India-China border faceoff: ‘In the last call, he told us situation was tense and won’t be able to speak for a while’

While 26-year-old Rajesh Orang’s family in Birbhum was preparing for his marriage, Bipul Roy’s five-year-old daughter, unmindful of the tragedy, wanted her mother to wait for him before packing bags for Alipurduar. Roy’s wife and daughter live in Meerut and were heading towards West Bengal via Delhi for the final rites.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata, Meerut | June 18, 2020 10:44:11 am
India china border dispute, Galwan faceoff, India china news, Bengal soldier among 20 killed, Bengal soldier family, Lance Havildar Bipul Roy (35) and Sepoy Rajesh Orang (26).

Two soldiers from West Bengal’s Birbhum and Alipurduar districts were among the 20 Armymen who were killed during the violent face-off with Chinese troops in Ladakh on Tuesday.

While 26-year-old Rajesh Orang’s family in Birbhum was preparing for his marriage, Bipul Roy’s five-year-old daughter, unmindful of the tragedy, wanted her mother to wait for him before packing bags for Alipurduar. Roy’s wife and daughter live in Meerut and were heading towards West Bengal via Delhi for the final rites.

Read | India capable of giving befitting reply, sacrifices of soldiers will not go in vain: PM Modi

“Had he come home in May, we would have fixed his wedding schedule. Now, we are waiting for his body,” said Rajesh Orang’s cousin Abhijit. Rajesh, the sole bread earner of the family and eldest among three siblings, could not visit Belgoria village in Mohammadbazar due to the lockdown in May. He leaves behind his parents and two sisters, one of them was to get married. His father Subhash, a tribal farmer, has been bed-ridden for some time.

“He came home in September last year. He used to call us every Sunday. The last time we spoke to him was about a fortnight ago when he told us that the situation was tense in Ladakh and he will not be able to call for a while. Yesterday, we got a call from the Army headquarters informing us about his demise. I am glad that he died fighting. I will be relieved if the government gives a befitting reply to his killers,” said Subhas.

Also Read | Galwan faceoff: How serious is the situation, and what happens next?

Rajesh joined the Army in 2015 and was posted at the 16 Bihar Regiment. He was the first in the Orang family to join the army.

His mother Mamata also demanded justice for her son. “We want the Indian Army to give them a befitting reply. I want justice for my son.”

Read | Major Generals hold talks on ground, all forces put on high state of alert

Rajesh studied in Maladang Seherakuri Banshidhar High School in Mohammadbazar and later got admitted to Suri Vidyasagar College. He joined the Army before completing his graduation.

Around 1,500 km from Birbhum, a similar scene of played out in Meerut. As Bipul Roy’s wife Rumpa packed her bags to leave for Bhindipara area in Alipurduar, her five-year-old daughter Tamanna asked, “Maa, where are we going? Let papa come. Why are you packing our bags?” Tamanna is the only child of the couple. His wife and daughter live in a rented house in Meerut.

Army officials and the local administrative officers said Rumpa and Tamanna could be escorted to New Dehli from where they will be flown to Alipurduar on Thursday, said Meerut DM Anil Dhingra.

Read | ‘I am glad he died fighting’: Father of Bengal’s Rajesh Orang who died in Galwan face-off

Before being deployed in Ladakh two years ago, Bipul was posted in Army’s Signal Core in Meerut.

Meanwhile, Bipul’s father Biren said his son was supposed to take voluntary retirement next year. “He used to stay in Meerut with his wife and daughter. He wanted to come back after taking retirement. Now his body will arrive here. His life should not go in vain. He must get justice for his sacrifice,” said the father, who is a farmer.

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