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Commando Yadav's sons will follow in his footsteps

Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi | September 24, 2003 20:22 IST

National Security Guard commando Suresh Chandra Yadav -- who laid down his life this day a year ago flushing out terrorists from the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar in Gujarat -- has inspired two young men to emulate his sacrifice.

Also see: Akshardham attack anniversary: Complete coverage

His sons Manoj and Sandeep.

The boys have only one ambition in life -- to be like their father.

But ambitions alone do not make life, there are responsibilities too. There is a family to support -- a mother and a sister they recently married off. So they have arrived at a compromise -- only one of them will become a commando. The other will look after the family.

"If luck favours me, I will tread in my father's footsteps and become a commando. I think an NSG commando's job entails not only prestige and fame, but it also provides a chance to serve one's country," Manoj, the elder of the two, told on the phone from Behror, 10 km from Yadav's village Khatan Khera, where he is visiting a relative.

"My father is a martyr," he added. "To us, he is a shining example of what a fearless and honest commando can do. He always told us to tackle adversity without backing off."

Suresh Yadav's elder brother Bhoop Singh, a teacher, was all praise for Khatan Khera's favourite son.

"I always said -- provide us the opportunity and our tiny village [population approximately 1,200] will generate many such martyrs. Our boys neither lack the guts nor the ability," Bhoop Singh said.

He said 30 young men from the village already serve in the security forces. "Should the government come out with incentives, I think their number will increase 100 per cent," Bhoop Singh added.

Although the village misses Suresh Yadav, they are happy the commando's family has been adequately compensated.

When this correspondent visited Khatan Khera last year, the Yadavs had no clue what the future held for them.

Manoj and Sandeep were worried if they would be able to complete their studies. Thy were also concerned about their teenaged sister Sunita.

Their world was upside down.

"I think Commando Yadav's family was adequately compensated. This is over and above the ex gratia payment which was initially declared," NSG officer M K Kaul said.

NSG Commander Brigadier Raj Seetapathy, who commanded the Akshardham operation, told from Manesar in Haryana: "His [Commando Yadav's] family has got more than was expected. His daughter Sunita was married under the aegis of the state [Rajasthan] government, which also sanctioned a handsome monetary award to the family.

"The family has been allotted a petrol pump and the Swaminarayan Trust [which runs the Akshardham temple] also gave a substantial amount of money," the brigadier said. "I think the family has been well provided for."


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