The family of Sepoy Jagsir Singh (32) was awaiting his arrival on January 2 at his native village Lohgarh Thakran in Punjab’s Ferozepur district. They are now waiting for a coffin with his body, expected to arrive on Monday.
Singh was killed on Sunday in unprovoked firing by Pakistan army on Indian posts in Nowshera sector of Jammu. He is survived by parents Amarjit Singh and Gurmeet Kaur, wife Mohinderpal, daughters Nagam (7), Gurneet (5) and son Jagdish (2). His younger brother works as a driver in Dubai.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Amarjit accused the government of treating sons of poor families like “objects”. “Saada sab kuch khatam ho gaya (We have lost everything). What was our fault? Just that we are poor people and our sons do not think twice before joining Army and serving the country. But what do they get in return? Sons of poor families are being treated like objects by the government and if one is killed by Pakistan, four others are pushed ahead. Government will keep doing this instead of taking stern action and revenge against Pakistan. They will keep doing this because they can see that if one soldier is killed, there are four others behind him who are ready to die for the country. When will it stop?” questioned Amarjit, holding his two-years-old grandson in his lap.
“Of course, I would say that we want revenge of our son’s death, but will that revenge ever come? It will never come because for the politicians sitting on their high chairs, our sons are mere objects. Had their own sons been killed like this, they might have understood the pain. But since we are poor, our pain is also ignored and Pakistan is never given a befitting reply. Had there been stern action from our side, Pakistan wouldn’t have dared to repeat it day after day,” he said. He said it was poverty that pushed his son to join the Army. “Koi shouk nahi si ohnu apni jaan gawaan da. Majboori si (He did not join Army because he had a wish to put his life at stake. It was a compulsion). We are very poor and he had to do something to feed the family. My younger son later went to Dubai and started working as a driver, but before that Jagsir had joined the Army,” he said.
Jagsir joined the Army in 2004. He had recently come home on leave but had to return on December 22. “He was called back for duty and promised leave in January. He was scheduled to come back on January 2. His wife was unwell and needed him,” said Amarjit.
Malkit Singh, SAD leader and sarpanch of the village, said that nothing can make up for the loss suffered by the family. “No one can understand the pain of families they leave behind. This unprovoked firing on a daily basis by Pakistan only proves that they have no fear. It means our government is failing in teaching them a lesson,” he said.
An Army spokesperson said that following a wreath laying ceremony at Rajouri, the body is expected to reach Ferozepur Monday via a chopper.