The six-year-old daughter of slain CRPF Commandant Pramod Kumar and his wife will tomorrow unfurl the tricolour from the same battalion camp in Srinagar, where exactly an year ago he saluted the flag and was killed minutes after in a militant encounter.
The six-year-old daughter of slain CRPF Commandant Pramod Kumar and his wife will tomorrow unfurl the tricolour from the same battalion camp in Srinagar, where exactly an year ago he saluted the flag and was killed minutes after in a militant encounter. Kumar was today decorated by the government with the Kirti Chakra, the third highest peacetime gallantry medal, for his dare devil action where he picked up his AK-47 and rushed to the Nowhatta Chowk area after he was told his patrol party was under attack. The Commanding Officer (CO) of the 49th battalion of the CRPF suffered a fatal bullet shot in his head. “I want my 6-year-old daughter Aarna to know what her father stood for and what he did. She should know that what is the importance of earning a Kirti Chakra.
Hence, I made it a point to be on the same soil where my husband lost his life to mark his first death anniversary,” Kumar’s wife Neha Tripathy told PTI. “As he unfurled the tricolour at the 49th battalion camp exactly an year before, we will be doing it tomorrow,” she added. She has already reached the Karan Nagar-based battalion of the force in Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir. “For the world, Kashmir is a paradise but for me it took away the most precious and valuable person I had in my life. But, I still do not feel bad about it. “I want to salute his supreme sacrifice by being at the place where he breathed his last,” she said. Last August 15, he hoisted the flag between 8:30-8:40 AM and in his speech remarked that with India clocking 70 years of its freedom, the responsibility on security forces has “increased” and they have to effectively tackle militants and incidents of stone pelting in J-K.
Just before he ended his speech, Kumar, in a recorded video of the event, is seen looking at his watch and heard saying “it is an important day”, unaware of the fate that awaited him. Minutes later he was killed at the Nowhatta Chowk fighting militants. Recounting the moments of last year, an officer said, as the wireless set in the CRPF control room crackled informing that militants are hurling grenades and firing on security forces at four places in downtown Srinagar like Nowhatta Chowk, Gojwara Chowk, Bata Gali and Khaniyar Chowk, Kumar rushed. He, along with a small team of his personal security team, dashed out in a bullet-proof vehicle and soon after landed at the incident spot.
“The militants were still firing. Kumar led from the front but was shot grievously,” the officer said. He was rushed to the 92 Base Hospital of the Army in Srinagar where he succumbed to his injuries. While Kumar and his men eliminated the two armed foreign militants, nine other personnel, including a state police official, were injured in the attack. The CO was posted to Srinagar in April 2014 and was promoted as a Commandant only a few days before the fateful day, on July 12. He hailed from Patna in Bihar but lived in neighbouring Jharkhand’s Jamtara district. The officer had been thrice decorated with the CRPF Director General’s commendation in 2015, 2014 and 2011. He had also served in the Special Protection Group (SPG) for three years. The officer joined the CRPF in 1998.