Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal who belonged to the 55 Rashtriya Rifles, lost his life on Monday in a gun battle with Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists in Pulwama Encounter, Jammu, and Kashmir. The thirty-four-year-old Major’s wife Nitika Kaul saluted her husband while paying her last tributes to him. She said, “I am not helpless. My husband was a brave heart”.
A civilian, a policeman, and three other army personnel were also killed while few senior security officers, including an Indian Army brigadier and the Deputy Inspector General of South Kashmir Police, was wounded in the operation that went on for almost 18 hours.
The gun battle happened around 15km away from the region where 40 CRPF Jawans were killed in a suicide attack by JeM militant Adil Ahmed Dar on a convoy.
An Unimaginable Loss
Major Dhoundiyal’s wife, Nitika, was the first to get informed about his death by the army officers. The twenty-seven year old works in a multinational company of Delhi and on Monday morning, she left Dehradun. Besides his wife, Major Dhoundiyal has also left behind his mother, grandmother and three elder sisters. He was the youngest son of the family. He was planning to come home in the month of April and celebrate his first wedding anniversary. He got married just ten months ago. Sadly, the cruel fate didn’t let him fulfill his dream. He didn’t live to celebrate even his first anniversary.
His sister Vaishnavi Dhoundiyal was quoted saying, “We spoke last on Sunday and he was very excited to come home for his first anniversary celebrations. He had even planned his leaves in the first week of April but I asked him to come later as our leave schedules were not matching. He came home too early after that call”.
If Only Pictures Could Bring Him Back
While sitting in her martyred brother’s room, his sister said, “Since the wedding, we had been thinking of putting up pictures of their marriage in this room. We even had them ready but were not able to put them up. The thought scares us now that instead of the couple, a photograph of our brother will hang on this wall.”
Major Dhoundiyal’s 95-year-old grandmother, Shakuntala Dhoundiyal, also paid homage to her grandson on Monday evening. However, she did not know her grandson is dead.