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Martyrs' kin return govt cheque, say Pak should be punished

August 07, 2013 17:55 IST

M I Khan speaks to the bereaved families of soldiers killed along the Line of Control. They demand India take through action against the neighbours and NOT compensation.

A distraught Pushpa Devi, wife of Vijay Kumar Rai, one of the five soldiers killed in a deadly ambush along the Line of Control on Tuesday, has refused to accept the Rs 10 lakh compensation by the Bihar government. She instead demanded “kar karwai” (tough action) against Pakistan.   

The kin of three other soldiers -- Naik Prem Nath, Lance Naik Shambhu Saran, Sepoy Ragunandan -- from the Bihar Regiment, who were killed in the attack in Poonch, also said that justice would be met only if India acts against Pakistan.

“I will not accept the compensation till the government of India takes tough action against Pakistan,” said Pusha from her home in the Anandpur Thehka village near Patna. Rai, 27, is survived by his wife and two minor children. She threatened to immolate herself along with her children and family if the government did not pay heed to her request. “Pakistan should be punished for its cowardly act. India should prove its might and must give a strong warning,” said an inconsolable Pushpa.  

Rai’s uncle Ramji Singh said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Defence Minister A K Antony should not keep mum.

'Do not spare Pakistan' was the common sentiment among the kin of the martyrs. Vansidhar Rai, father of soldier Shambu Saran, said, “India must teach a hard lesson to Pakistan. It’s high time the government takes some rare action.” A jail constable, Vansidhar, is a resident of Ara district, Bhojpur.

Meera Devi, mother of 23-year-old Ragunandan, echoed similar views. “We should not sit silent.”

The death of the young solider, who was to tie the knot soon, has outraged his neighbours in Nautan, Saran district. Hundreds of them protested on the streets; halted a train, as they should slogans against Pakistan.   

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced a state funeral for all four soldiers of the 21 Bihar Regiment and announced Rs 10 lakh compensation to their families.

The fifth solider killed on Tuesday was 36-year-old Naik Pundalik Mane of Kolhapur, Maharashtra.

Image: Indian Army soldiers stand near the coffins of their colleagues during a wreath laying ceremony in Poonch district, northwest of Jammu

Photograph: Mukesh Gupta/Reuters

M I Khan in Patna