The family of CRPF jawan Mahesh Kumar, who lost his life in Pulwama terrorist attack on February 14, is yet to come to terms with the irreparable loss that it has suffered.

The family members are not only dissatisfied with the monetary assistance provided to them by the government, they are equally unhappy over the claims which it made about the air strikes in Balakot (Pakistan).

According to the soldier’s kin, leaders should not play politics over the army and instead focus on development.

Tudihar Badal Ka Purwa, a village close to Prayagraj-Mirzapur highway witnessed hectic activity when the soldier’s body was taken there for last rites. Leaders of all the political parties and officials of all ranks queued up to Mahesh’s house for over a week after his last rites were performed. As the days passed by, the number of visitors started dwindling.

Mahesh is survived by his wife Sanju Devi and two sons, Samar (6) and Sahil (5).

Mahesh’s father Raj Kumar said, “We remain busy in the fields as we have many mouths to feed. We are still mourning the loss but are gradually coming to terms with the tragedy. Not only our family but the entire village is proud of Mahesh but we are extremely unhappy over the politics being played over the attack which claimed the lives of security personnel. Polls are being contested in the name of soldiers but not much is being done for their family and children.”

Rajkumar’s other brothers Suresh Kumar and Santlal also joined the conversation.

Rakesh Kumar, the son of Raj Kumar’s elder brother Shiv Kumar, is also in CRPF and the family is ready to send their other children to join the forces.

“We have received the cheque announced by the government but are yet to receive other benefits including the promise of job to my younger son Amresh. I approached the district magistrate who asked me to meet him after elections. The promise of a gate outside the village in the memory of my son also seems to be a far cry. The members of our family still defecate in the open and the promise of construction of a toilet in our house has not been fulfilled yet,” Raj Kumar lamented.

“I was also promised some agricultural land but the lekhpal says no land is available as of now,” he complained.

He said no compensation or government assistance could compensate their loss but the soldiers who lay down their lives for the country should be given due respect.

“Instead of playing politics, leaders should strengthen the country’s security and bring development, employment, infrastructure and education to villages of martyred jawans,” he added.

“While we mourned our soldiers’ deaths, there was not a single photograph to show the bodies of terrorists or their families mourning their death after air strikes in Pakistan,” he added.

Raj Kumar said though the family was not happy with the state of affairs, they would definitely cast vote to bring about a change.

Although too young to understand the loss, Mahesh Kumar’s sons listened to the conversation with curiosity while sitting next to their grandfather.

Speaking about his daughter-in-law, he said: “She often comes to this room where Mahesh’s garlanded photographs are placed. She weeps for hours and is hard to console. She has refused the government’s offer for a job as she does not want to compromise with the upbringing of her two sons.”

Villagers also said development and employment should be the core agenda of all political parties.

First Published:
May 10, 2019 11:55 IST

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