“Nobody has told us what has happened to my son. Who do we ask,’’ said E K Sivarajan, father of Lt Col Niranjan Kumar, 34, who was killed in the Pathankot attack on Sunday.
Niranjan, who was with the National Security Guard (NSG), was killed while attempting to move the body of a terrorist, who had improvised an explosive device under his body.
Sivarajan said he last spoke to his son, who lived with his wife and two-year-old daughter in Delhi, at around 5 pm on Saturday. “I called him up at around 5 pm. I was taking my evening walk and wanted to get some information from him. When I called, he said he was engaged in an operation. He said he would call me back,” he said.
“At around 11 am today, I got a call from my eldest son, who is in the IAF. He said Niranjan was dead. He is making arrangements to bring the body and Niranjan’s family to Bengaluru,’’ said Sivarajan, a former production manager with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).
“The body will be brought to Bengaluru at around 4 am (Monday). In the evening, we will take the body to our home in Palakkad for the last rites,’’ he said.
While his family is originally from Elambulassery village in Palakkad district of Kerala, Sivarajan moved to Bengaluru about 40 years ago.
Niranjan obtained an engineering degree from MVIT College, Bengaluru, before joining the Army. “Since his youth, he was interested in the armed forces. He opted for a short service commission, and when we asked why not IAF or Navy, he said he was in love with the olive green,” said Sivarajan.
“About two years ago, when he came on leave for his wedding, he told me that he was getting into the NSG and was very excited about it,” he said.
“We lost our mother when he was four years old and he had a difficult life. The country shouldn’t just remember him as a soldier who laid down his life, but as a man who faced a lot of struggles to achieve his dream,” said Niranjan’s sister, Bhagya Lakshmi. She said Niranjan was like Mahabharat’s Arjuna, who fought in his karmabhoomi.
His relatives in Palakkad said Niranjan would often visit them, especially during festivals. “He visited us during the last Onam festival in September,’’ said his uncle, Harikrishnan. “Yesterday, his sister told me that he was taking part in the Pathankot operation. We were very worried. We could not contact him,’’ he said.
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