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Soldier Killed in Pakistan Firing Failed to See His Newborn Child

The 24-year-old jawan, Subodh Ghosh, was eager to return home for his daughter's 'Annaprasan' when tragedy struck him.

Tehatta: There are no celebrations at Raghunathpur village in West Bengal’s Nadia district this Diwali, as the people of the area mourn the death of their neighbour, Subodh Ghosh, who passed away in Baramulla, Kashmir. Subodh was among those martyred in the heavy shelling by Pakistan at the LOC, in Baramulla on Friday.

He did not live to see his three-month-old daughter. The 24-year-old soldier was eager to return home for his daughter’s ‘Annaprasan’, a ceremony when a child begins to have rice and other solid food when they turn six months old.

“My son was eager to return home for his daughter’s Annaprasan… Now instead of him, his coffin will come. The village is in mourning,” said the jawan’s father, Gouranga Ghosh, a daily wage labourer, to reporters at his modest home on Saturday. The body will arrive on Sunday after completion of the formalities, he said.

Recounting the dreadful afternoon when the family got the news of the jawan’s death on Friday, Ghosh said, “There was a call at around 3.30 pm from Jammu and Kashmir. As we missed it my daughter-in-law called back and the person at the other end said they had received the marriage documents of Subodh and was confirming it.”

“After 10 minutes there was a second call from the same number and we were informed that Subodh was killed in firing by Pakistan,” he said.  Subodh’s wife, Anindita, fainted on hearing the news.

“Subodh was at home for the last time in June this year for 40 days. Due to the lockdown, he was unable to meet friends and relatives at that time. His daughter was born after he left and he was planning to be back home during the ‘Annaprashan’ of his daughter,” his mother said. Subodh spoke to his wife and mother for the last time on Thursday.

The martyred jawan’s father-in-law, Tapan Ghosh, who owns a small confectionery, rushed to his daughter’s home soon after getting the news of Subodh’s death. “I spoke to Subodh 10 days ago and he had enquired about my health,” he said.

Subodh had married his daughter a year and three months ago. After finishing school at local Nimtala High School, Subodh had taken admission at Betai College but he made it to the army three years ago.

The family’s financial condition had improved after he joined the Army and Subodh had started to build a pucca house.

District administration and police officials visited the martyred jawan’s house on Saturday and conveyed the official message from Jammu and Kashmir.

The villagers garlanded Subodh’s photograph on Saturday and paid the homage. “On the day of the festival of lights, the village has plunged into darkness,” a villager said.

(With PTI inputs)