Army jawan Sandeep Jadhav had promised to come home to celebrate the birthday of his son Shivam tomorrow, but to the utter devastation of his family the jawan will return home in a coffin. A pall of gloom descends on the jawan’s native Kalegao village in Sillod tehsil of Aurangabad district. The 34-year-old soldier, who belonged to the 15 Maratha Light Infantry, was yesterday killed in an attack by a team of Pakistani special forces, which had sneaked 600 metres across the Line of Control (LoC) into the Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir. Shravan Mane, a 24-year-old sepoy from Kolhapur, was also killed in the attack. When Jadhav’s father Sarjerao learnt about his death, he decided not to play the television at home so that the family does not come to know about the fateful news.
One of the villagers said, “Sandeep had assured his family that he would come home for Shivam’s birthday. As the birthday preparations were going on in full swing yesterday evening, Sarjerao decided not to play the television news at home when he learnt about his son’s death. He also asked some of his relatives not to talk about it to his family members, including Jadhav’s wife, elder daughter and others.” However, by late this afternoon, they were finally briefed about the incident for the conduct of his last rites.
Aurangabad District Collector Naval Kishor Ram said, “Sandeep’s body would reach Aurangabad by this evening. But, we have not received any confirmation about the shifting of the body yet.” Meanwhile, in Kolhapur, the family members of Shravan Mane are waiting for his body to arrive. Kolhapur District Collector Avinash Subhedar told PTI his office was in touch with the Army officials in Jammu. “We are hopeful of his body reaching Kolhapur by this evening,” he said. Mane, a resident of Gogave village in Shahuwadi tehsil of Kolhapur district, was a bachelor and had joined the Army only a couple of years back. “All the male members of his family, including the extended ones, are connected with the Army. His father had served in the Army as a jawan. Mane’s elder brother and brother-in-law are at present serving in various battalions of the Army,” Subhedar said.
Sanjay Shinde, resident district collector of Kolhapur said, “We are in touch with the Army officials in Jammu about shifting of Mane’s body. We are told that it should first reach Jammu, as the route from Poonch to Jammu is difficult. Once the body reaches Jammu, the Army will either carry it to Pune or directly take it to Belgaum, closest airport from Kolhapur.”