He had promised to come to the home to celebrate his 23rd birthday on 10th February. He did keep his promise, returned his home five days before but sadly in the coffin, wrapped in Tricolor. A young Army Officer and three Jawans were martyred in heavy firing and cross-border shelling by Pakistan in Kashmir’s Rajouri district along the Line of Control (LoC) on Sunday. He would have turned 23 on February 10, 2018, if alive.
Kapil Kundu had been promoted to the rank of captain on January 26, Republic Day, and transferred to Rajouri from Poonch on the same day.
Kundu’s family was eagerly waiting for his 23rd birthday after six days. But he was killed when the Pakistani forces opened heavy firing and shelling in Bhimbher Gali sector of Rajouri district on Sunday evening. The shelling started around 11:10 am from Pakistani side and spread across the Balakote sector in Mendhar and Manjakote. “The mortar shells were even aimed at the close vicinity of residential areas”, a senior Army official said. Officials said the situation was very tense as firing and shelling by Pakistani troops continued round-the-clock.
Army Captain Kapil Kundu and three Jawans lost their lives in the “incited and eclectic” firing by Pakistan, the martyred Jawans identified as Rifleman Ramavatar, 27, of Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, Rifleman Subham Singh, 23, of Kathua district, Jammu and Kashmir and Havaldar Roshan Lal, 42, a resident of Samba district, Jammu and Kashmir.
“Kapil always said life should be large and not long. He was my brave son and I am a proud mother whose son has made the supreme sacrifice for our country. If I had one more son, I would send him too for national duty in the Indian Army,” the young captain’s 52-year-old mother Sunita Kundu mourns. Sunita Kundu lost her husband Lala Ram Kundu when Kapil Kundu was just 15. And now after losing her son, a huge anger and pain are raging inside her.
“We urge the government to conduct a surgical strike on Pakistan and avenge such incidents. Had my son lived another 15-20 years, he would have done more for his nation. I believe his life will not go waste,” Sunita Kundu said hiding her rolled out tears.
He was youngest of three siblings — he had two elder sisters Sonia and Kajal, both married — and a bright and focused student since his childhood.
Minister of State Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir said, “We will not forgive Pakistan’s actions. It will prove to be Pakistan’s foolishness and will cost them dearly.”
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat paid homage to Captain Kundu. Sitharaman laid a wreath on the Tricolor-wrapped coffin, which was kept at the Palam Air Force Base after the aircraft reached around 6:20 pm. The Captain’s body finally reached his village at around 9:15pm.
The last rites of Captain Kapil Kundu were performed on Monday in Ransika village in Pataudi in Gurgaon district. Hundreds gathered here to pay their last respects to him. Even as the slogans of ‘Vande Matram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ filled the air with patriotism. A large crowd watched on his body wrapped in Tricolor taken out of his home where his family got their last few minutes with him. The crowd shouted anti-Pakistani slogans from time to time.
Among those who came to pay their respect were Deputy Commissioner of Gurgaon Vinay Pratap Singh, Pataudi MLA Bimla Chaudhary, PWD Minister Rao Narbir Singh, SDM Pataudi Vivek Kalia and Rohtak MP Deepender Singh Hooda.