As TV channels began streaming news of the Uri attack, Such Ballianwali village in Punjab’s Bathinda district began fearing the worst for one of its own — Lance Naik Sukhwinder Singh (31). For his family, the sense of impending doom was not without reason. A while before the news broke, the soldier’s father, Harnek Singh, had received a call from the Army for details of his son.
By 9 pm on Friday, the villagers’ worst fears were confirmed: Sukhwinder Singh was among the eight Armymen killed in the militant attack. “We got a call from his unit and they wanted details about Sukhwinder, as if they were confirming if they were calling the right man’s family. They did not tell us anything else. But we saw news… So we all had started preparing for bad news,” said Harnek Singh.
The family’s pain is compounded by the fact that Sukhwinder, who joined the Army 11 years ago, had applied for leave this month, to attend a wedding, but then postponed it as he wanted to attend another marriage next year and was also hopeful of being transferred closer home.