Dhoundiyal studied at the St. Joseph’s Academy in Dehradun till Class 10 and moved to Pine Hall School for Classes 11 and 12.
Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal was martyred on Monday in a fierce gun battle with terrorists in Pulwama when the security forces cornered hidden terrorists in the area. The encounter between security forces and the militants went on for about 20 hours. Three Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists were neutralised while four brave soldiers of the Indian Army made the supreme sacrifice in the clash.
Nitika Kaul, the wife of Major Dhoundiyal, who was also martyred in the gunbattle, saluted her husband’s mortal remains with a loud cry of ‘Jai Hind.’ Thousands of people on Tuesday paid their last respects to Major Dhoundiyal at his residence in Dehradun. Nikita and Major Dhoundiyal had tied the knot less than a year ago.
His mother Saroj, a cardiac patient, his wife, and a host of relatives and friends were crying inconsolably as Major Dhoundiyal’s coffin was kept for people to pay their last respects before being taken to Haridwar for the last rites.
Dhoundiyal married Nitika Kaul in April last year. Nitika, who works for an MNC in Delhi, had left Dehradun for Delhi on Monday morning. She received the news while she was on her way and returned to Dehradun.
Dhoundiyal studied at the St. Joseph’s Academy in Dehradun till Class 10 and moved to Pine Hall School for Classes 11 and 12. He completed his B.Sc from DAV PG College before joining the Indian Army. “He was passionate about joining the Army since childhood,” his friend Mayank Khanduri told The Indian Express.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat placed a wreath on the coffin amid cries of “Shaheed Dhoundiyal Amar Rahein” and “Vande Mataram”.
People had climbed to rooftops and also stood on either side of the road leading to the officer’s residence.
Major Dhoundiyal’s body, draped in the tricolour, was brought home late on Monday night and the funeral will be done with full military honours in Haridwar later in the day.
The news of his death had come as the last rites of Major Chitresh Bisht, who died defusing a mine near the LoC in Rajouri district, were still underway in Haridwar on Monday.
Prominent among those who turned up to pay their last respects to Major Dhoundiyal included state cabinet minister Satpal Maharaj, ex-MP Tarun Vijay, state assembly Speaker Premchand Agarwal, BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi and Dehradun Mayor Sunil Uniyal Gama.