Jagnarain Singh, 78, has been blind for the last 20 years. But now more than ever, he wishes he could see again. “I still have some strength left in me to fight Pakistan alongside the Indian Army to avenge my son’s death. The way terrorists slayed our soldiers, we should do the same,” said Jagnarain, father of Havildar Ashok Kumar Singh (44), who died in Sunday’s attack.
This is not the first such tragedy to hit the Singh family — in 1986, Jagnarain’s eldest son, Kamta Singh, a 23-year-old sepoy in the Indian Army, had died in a bomb blast in Bikaner.
The Singh family has sent many men to serve the country. Ashok’s eldest son, Vikas Singh, joined recently and is posted as a sepoy at the Danapur Cantonment. Ashok’s grandfather, Rajgrih Singh, and his two uncles, Shyam Narayan Singh and Ramvilas Singh, also served in the Army. Two of his nephews are in the Army as well.
But at the moment, anger runs deep in the household. Blaming the Centre for not doing enough to tackle terrorism, Jagnarain said, “This is the same government that had talked of cutting the 10 heads of enemies to avenge the beheading of five Indian soldiers.”
The family was informed of Ashok’s death on Monday morning. Ever since news broke that many of those killed were from the Bihar Regiment, the family had been trying to contact him.