LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh paid a tearful homage to 12 martyrs from the CRPF who returned home wrapped in the tricolour on Friday after making the supreme sacrifice in Pulwama.
Slogans against Pakistan reverberated in the skies in Jaidev Chapia in Deoria district of eastern UP. The entire village had descended upon the house of martyr Vijay Kumar Maurya, 30, of 92 battalion. Father Ramayan Maurya is shell-shocked and grieving widow Vijay Lakshmi wants revenge. Vijay had returned to duty just last week. “Nothing will satisfy me except 10 heads as revenge,” said Vijay Lakshmi who married Vijay four years ago and has been left behind to look after a one-year-old daughter.
Similar was the scene in the other 11 houses across the state on Friday with families having a common refrain of taking revenge as soon as possible in a way which serves as a severe deterrent for those who indulged in the dastardly act.
“Badla chahiye aur usse kam ya zyada kuchh bhi nahi chahiye (We want nothing less or more than revenge)", said Brijesh Yadav, elder brother of Awdhesh Kumar Yadav, a radio operator, 45 Battalion CRPF, of Bahadurpur village in Chanduali in eastern UP. His mother, a cancer patient, was yet to be informed and his father was trying to find a way to deal with the grief. “My son was a radio operator and seldom used to get out of the headquarters. They did not let him reach the HQ,” says Harikesh Yadav, father of the martyr, with eyes welled up.
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Isha, the daughter of CI Ajit Kumar Azad, 35, 115 CRPF Battalion, wants a befitting revenge too. “Unke ghar mein ghus kar unko maro (get into their house and kill them),” she said, simmering with anger soaked in tears while receiving the news of her father’s martyrdom in Unnao, 60 kilometres from Lucknow. The 12-year-old was brave enough to console wailing grandmother Rajwati, mother Meena and younger sister Shreya.
Dreams have been shattered and grief has no limits in the other nine families too. Constable Shyam Babu’s wife lost consciousness on getting the news of his martyrdom. Babu of 115 Battalion had joined the force in 2007. He has left behind a five-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son. Pradeep Singh Yadav from 21 Battalion, who hails from Tirwa in Kannauj has left behind his wife and two daughters. Ramesh Yadav of 61 Battalion belonged to Tofapur village in Varanasi, while Mahesh Kumar, of 118 Battalion, belonged to Prayagraj.
The western UP district of Shamli lost two brave souls in the form of Constable Pradeep Kumar Prajapati of 21 Battalion and Constable Amit Kumar of 92 Battalion. While Pradeep was associated with the RPF for the last 14 years, his brother Sanjay Kumar, who is with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), demanded ‘badla’ in no uncertain terms. “He was here with us four days ago,” said his wailing wife Kamini who found it difficult to come to terms with the cruel reality. Pradeep has left behind two adolescent sons and an elderly father besides three siblings.
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Amit Kumar, also of Shamli, was the youngest among five brothers. He had joined the force just a year and a half ago. He had been on a 15-day vacation and had rejoined last Tuesday. Similarly, Agra’s Kaushal Kumar Rawat, 45, of 76 Battalion was transferred from Siliguri to Jammu and Kashmir just two days ago. He was the battalion cook and had talked to his brother Kamal on Wednesday. Rawat was a trained NSG commando and his wife Mamta and two sons are based in Gurugram.
Constable Pankaj Kumar Tripathi of Maharajganj in eastern UP was a driver in 53 CRPF Battalion. Pankaj, who has left behind a young wife and a four-year-old son, had resumed duty just three days ago after a vacation. Father OP Tripathi took pride in his son’s martyrdom but was unable to stem the stream of tears. Constable Ram Vakeel of 176 Battalion, a father of three, belonged to Mainpuri in central UP.