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Published On: Tue, Aug 15th, 2017

I wanted my daughter to know what her father did for the country Says slain CRPF Commandment wife Neha Tripathi

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crpf-srinagar-in-daughter-wife-unfurl-flag_d9c41be0-81c8-11e7-929c-3545fa1ac73cSRINAGAR : Thirty-two-year-old Neha Tripathi, her little daughter by her side, was unfurling the flag. Last year, it was her husband, Commandant Pramod Kumar, who performed the same task. Within a couple of hours, he was dead. Today’s ceremony was as much a tribute to the officer as to India on her 71st Independence Day.
As news came of a patrol being attacked at Nowhatta in downtown Srinagar, the Commanding Officer of the unit had picked up his AK-47 rifle and rushed to the site at Nowhatta. After nearly five hours of gun-battle, Commandant Kumar was dead and nine other securitymen injured. Before he died, the officer — who had sustained a bullet injury in his head — and his men managed to kill two of the terrorists.

This year, the officer was posthumously honoured with Kirti Chakra, India’s third highest gallantry award. “It was very difficult for me to come to the same place where he was martyred. But I came here to be a part of the tribute ceremony by the jawans of 49 battalion for my husband,” said Neha Tripathy, clutching the hand of six-year-old Aarna.

The couple, who were neighbours in Jharkhand’s Jamtara, had got married in 2008. The officer got posted to Srinagar in 2014. The officer, who had received three special awards, got a promotion just a few days before his death.
Pramod Kumar’s colleagues remember him as a man who led from the front. “Beyond doubt, if we get a chance to do something for the country, we will do that… we will do the same duty as was performed by commandant Pramod Kumar, we will not step back,” said Rajmohan Singh, an officer of the unit.

Kumar (44) on Monday decorated by the government with the Kirti Chakra (posthumously), the third highest peacetime gallantry medal, for his dare devil action where he picked up his AK-47 rifle and rushed to the Nowhatta Chowk area after he was told his patrol party was under attack, during the last Independence Day.
Kumar’s wife 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.
Martyred CRPF Commandant Pramod Kumar’s wife Neha Tripathi unfurling the tri-colour.

“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. “As he unfurled the tricolour at the 49th battalion camp exactly a year before, we will be doing it tomorrow,” she had said.

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 militants.

While Kumar and his men eliminated the two armed foreign militants, 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.

He hailed from Patna in Bihar but lived in neighbouring Jharkhand’s Jamtara district.

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.

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