PATNA: Two short sentences from Sepoy Sunil Kumar of 16 Bihar ended a 16-hour ordeal for his family in Saran district. “Mein Leh se Sunil bol rahan hoon.
Mein surakshit hun
(This is Sunil calling from Leh. I am safe).” Kumar’s 30-second
brought immeasurable relief to his wife, Menka Rai, who had been inconsolable ever since the family was told that Kumar had been among the 20 soldiers killed by the
in Ladakh on Monday.
With their three-year-old daughter in her lap, Menka had fainted several times since being told, erroneously, that her 35-year-old husband had been killed. The error was the result of mistaken identity. Havildar Sunil Kumar, a resident of Bihta in
, had lost his life in the incident, but the call went to the family of Sunil Kumar of Saran. On Tuesday evening, an Army officer had told the family over the phone that “Sunil” had been killed performing his duty.
The next day, Wednesday, Menka received a phone call from her husband at around 9.30 am, when the grieving family and other relatives were waiting for his body at Dighra village in Saran district. “Initially I couldn’t believe that the man on the other side was Sunil,” she told
. The family, however, didn’t celebrate as her husband’s colleagues had laid down their lives.