Kundan Kumar Ojha, a trooper in the Bihar Regiment who was among 20 soldiers killed in a clash with Chinese troops in Ladkah’s Galwan valley, had become a father barely a fortnight ago and was planning to go home to see his baby girl in Jharkahnd.
Family members said Kundan spoke to them last when his daughter Diksha was born.
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“He became a father only 17-18 days back. He promised his wife Namita Devi that once tension along the India-China border eased, he would come to see Diksha soon after. But that day will never come. His wish to see his daughter will never be fulfilled,” Mukesh Ojha, the grieving elder brother of Kundan said over the phone.
Kundan who hailed from Dihari village in Sahebganj district 440 km from the state capital Ranchi, had joined the Army in 2011.
“Kundan got married in 2018. His wife is inconsolable,” Mukesh said.
Kundan’s father Ravi Shankar Ojha is a farmer and mother Bhawani Devi is a housewife. Devi had three children and Kundan was their second child. Despite their grief, the family is proud of his sacrifice.
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“We are proud of our brother, who laid his life for the country. If required, my 23-year-old younger brother Kanhiya Kumar and I would also join Indian Army and fight with the enemy on the border till our last breath,” Mukesh said.
The family wants Kundan’s body to be brought to their village as early as possible. “We are getting no information from the district administration regarding when the body would be sent. We called contacts in Kundan’s battalion but could not receive any information in this regard,” Kundan’s elder brother said.
Sahibganj superintendent of police (SP), Anuranjan Kispotta said they are expecting official correspondence about the body’s arrival by the evening.
“We have received the news regarding the death of the Jawan. But, official correspondence in this regard is still awaited from the unit (Army). We are expecting the correspondence by this evening.”
Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren also paid homage to the fallen soldier.
“Giving a befitting reply to the Chinese encroachment, the brave son of Jharkhand Kundan was martyred,” he tweeted.
Amid the escalating tension on India-China border, the Jharkhand government on Tuesday cancelled the special train, scheduled to carry 1,600 labourers from Dumka for road construction projects of the Border Road Organization (BRO) in Ladakh.
Earlier, a train with labourers left on June 13 and more trains were scheduled in the next few days carrying more workers for road projects in Ladakh.