PATNA: At 60, Surindra alias Shivam Singh, still recalls the operation in Batalik sector with pride. “There were 12 militants hiding in the trenches and they were so close that we could hear their conversations,” said Singh. “I kept firing and in between we would throw grenades at the enemy position. We were able to avoid ambushes and drive them out.”
However, in the gun battle, several splinters injured his arm, some of which are still lodged in his hand. “Despite four to five hits on my right elbow, I continued fighting for three days,” Singh said.“Now, I am not able to pick anything heavy with this hand. One vein has got strained due to a splinter and has left one of my fingers ineffective,” he said.
He resides in a room built with a roof of asbestos at Chandi village in Vaishali district of Bihar. “The pucca house does not seem to be in my nasib (fate) in this life. I have no fixed job post retirement,” he said, adding that no help was given to him from the state government or others. The single honour he got was a civic reception at Hajipur. “Then, Rabri Devi as CM had announced to honour us with gold medals and by other means of assistance which have also not been met.”