Giridih/Ranchi: Anger and grief shrouded the atmosphere of Palgunj village in Giridih, Jharkhand, when the last rite of Border Security Force (BSF) jawan Sitaram Upadhayay was being performed, on Saturday.
A native of Palgunj, Sitaram had joined the Indian army in 2011 with a dream of protecting his mother land. He succumbed to his injuries, while protecting the borders, when Pakistan violated ceasefire and open fired at several districts in Kashmir. He is survived by his wife and two kids – a three-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son.
His father, who has recently lost his vision, claimed that Sitaram, had visited his family in Palgunj and had left for Kashmir on May 2 and had resumed his duty on May 5. One the fateful night, he had even had a long chat with his wife around 10 pm and had informed her that everything was under control and he would be on duty at the borders post midnight.
Little did he know back then that Pakistan would violate ceasefire and resort to unprovoked firing during which a total of 12 people, including another BSF jawan had sustained injuries, while Sitaram succumbed to his injuries. Significantly, on May 18, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was supposed to visit Jammu and Kashmir on a state visit.
His widow Rashmi Kumari, blamed the wrong decision of the Narendra Modi government for her husband’s death. She said, “The government shouldn’t have gone for a one-sided ceasefire announcement and should have not believed in Pakistan.”
The mortal remains of Sitaram were first brought to Ranchi, where he was given state honour. Following which, his widow Rashmi along with her kids accompanied the last journey of the martyr from Ranchi airport to his native village via road.
Hundreds of people from his village and neighbouring area assembled on Saturday to pay their tribute to this son of soil. Also found in attendance were political leaders affiliated with various political parties, senior police officials and BSF jawans. Angry civilians were seen shouting anti-Pakistan slogans as the last rites were performed.
Jharkhand government has announced a monetary assistance of Rs 10 lakh to his family. However, an angry Rashmi said, “The government shouldn’t have announced the Ramazan ceasefire. The compensation won’t bring back my husband.”
However, CPI-ML has demanded that Jharkhand government should give Rs One crore to the family and also build a statue in the memory of its brave son.