J&K: Martyred Commandant’s Wife, Daughter Unfurl Flag at CRPF Camp Where He Died a Year Ago
Srinagar, August 15: The Independence Day celebration at Srinagar’s CRPF 49th battalion this year was overshadowed by grief. On Tuesday morning, wife and daughter of CRPF Commandant Pramod Kumar unfurled the tricolour at the very same spot where the jawan was martyred a year ago. Last year, it was Pramod Kumar who performed the same task and within a couple of hours, he was killed by terrorists. Today’s ceremony was also a tribute to the officer.
Hours after Pramod Kumar hoisted the flag at the 49th battalion camp in Karan Nagar area on August 15 last year, the CRPF Commandant took a bullet in his head when terrorists attacked his patrol party.
A year later, Pramod Kumar’s wife Neha Tripathy and daughter Aarna performed the ceremonial unfurling of the flag at the 49th battalion camp.
Neha Tripathy then performed the traditional drill of distributing sweets to the men of the battalion, once commanded by her husband. She also placed a wreath at the martyr’s memorial built at the camp.
Kumar’s wife had said that she wanted her daughter to know what her father did for the country and hence decided to mark his first death anniversary at the same camp where he took his last salute.
“I want my daughter to know what her father stood for and what he did. She should know that what is the importance of earning a Kirti Chakra. Hence, I made it a point to be on the same soil where my husband lost his life, to mark his first death anniversary,” Neha Tripathy said.
Kumar (44) was on Monday decorated by the government with the Kirti Chakra (posthumously), the third highest peacetime gallantry medal.
On the last Independence Day, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) CO had hoisted the flag between 8.30 and 8.40am and in his speech remarked that with India clocking 70 years of its freedom, the responsibility on security forces has “increased” and they have to effectively tackle terrorists and incidents of stone pelting in Jammu and Kashmir.
Just before he ended his speech, Kumar, in a recorded video of the event, is seen looking at his watch and saying “it is an important day”, unaware of the fate that awaited him.
Minutes later he was killed at the Nowhatta Chowk fighting terrorists. While Kumar and his men eliminated the two armed foreign terrorists, nine other personnel, including a state police official, were injured in the attack.
The CO was posted to Srinagar in April 2014 and was promoted as a Commandant only a few days before the fateful day, on July 12.
The officer had been thrice decorated with the CRPF Director General’s commendation in 2015, 2014 and in 2011. He had also served in the Special Protection Group (SPG) for three years. The officer joined the force in 1998.
(With inputs from PTI)