Hill soldier killed in Kashmir


Gurung in uniform

Kalimpong, May 27: Army jawan Narendra Gurung, who hailed from Mangbol bustee near Alainchikhop here, was killed in a gunbattle with terrorists in Kashmir yesterday.

The 27-year-old rifleman was part of the 2/8 Gorkha Rifles currently posted in the Poonch sector.

The death, however, was what Gurung had always wanted. As an emotional uncle B.H. Subba recalled: “Narendra used to say that when he died he would ensure that his body came draped in the Tricolour.”

Besides Subba, who brought him up, Gurung is survived by his newly-wed wife Anita and his father H.N. Gurung. The couple was married last February and he was here for the last time in April.

“When he last called us up on May 14, Narendra said he was trying to get leave sanctioned so that he could pay us a short visit, but that was not to be,” said Subba.

A former soldier in the British army himself, Subba, however, said the mounting casualties in Kashmir do not augur well for the government. “How many more will die before the Kashmir problem is resolved?”

The news of Gurung’s death was conveyed to the family a little after 4 pm yesterday. The army station could not provide details of the circumstances leading to his death.

“His body will arrive by flight tomorrow. The junior commissioned officer accompanying the body will be able to fill in the details,” said an army officer.

Gurung’s family members said his body will be kept at Mangbol bustee overnight and the funeral will probably take place on Tuesday.

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