Jammu: 10-year-old Vansh, the eldest of the two sons of Havildar Ravi Paul Salotra, is aware that his father was martyred in Uri terror attack but that has only strengthened his resolve to don the olive greens to serve the nation and avenge the killing.
Ravi Paul of 10 Dogra Regiment was one of the 18 brave soldiers who lost their lives while fighting the four terrorists who attacked the Army Brigade Headquarters in Uri sector of Baramulla district on Sunday.
He had served the Army for 23 years. Besides Vansh, 42-year-old Ravi Paul is survived by his wife Geeta Rani and another son Sudansheesh (7) and 80-year-old mother.
Because of Ravi Paul’s death, a pall of gloom has descended on his native Sarwa village in Ramgarh sub-sector of Samba district.
“My father used to call early in the morning. Yesterday he called us and we spoke in length on various issues. He asked me to concentrate on my studies so that I could fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor in the Indian Army,” said Vansh, a class 6th student.
When asked whether he was aware of what tragedy has befallen on the family, Vansh, carrying two plastic tricolours, said his father laid down his life for the sanctity of the national flag.
“Yes I know that my father laid down his life for this tricolour and I will fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor in the Army so as to avenge the killing of my father,” he said.
Ravi Paul’s two brothers have also served in the Army. Meanwhile, in Kolkata the mother of a soldier killed in the Uri attack demanded justice and strict punishment for the perpetrators as a pall of gloom descended on his village in West Bengal’s Howrah district.
“I demand justice and strict punishment for those who killed my son,” mother of Gangadhar Dolui said. “My son rang me up a few days ago. He said he is alright. I don’t belive that he is no more,” the grieving mother said.
Another soldier Biswajit Garai, who hailed from South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, was also killed in the terror attack in Uri.
In one of the deadliest attacks on the Army in recent years, 18 jawans were killed and as many others injured as heavily armed militants, suspected to be from Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, stormed a battalion headquarters of the force in North Kashmir’s Uri town in the wee hours on Sunday.