Shaheed Sepoy Jaswinder
SEPOY JASWINDER SINGH, 23
he was shot dead.
8 Sikh Regiment
Mission: Injured, he
crawled on, firing buying time for his patrol till
For days Gurdial Kaur, 20, sat glued
to the old black-and-white television set, watching images of the war,
hoping for a glimpse of Sepoy Jaswinder Singh, her husband of four months.
She never saw him. Instead, the brutal ways of war delivered him to her
doorstep: in a plywood coffin.
Numbed today in the dusty Punjab village
of Munne, Kaur recalls his last words: "There is nothing to feel scared
about. I have fought against such militants in Kashmir for three years."
The youngest of three sons of Joginder
Singh, a blind farmer, Jaswinder left home at 17 when the family's three-acre
land holding became too small to sustain it. "He was tough and the army
provided him the adventure he was looking for," says elder brother Sita
Jaswinder's final adventure came on
May 21. Part of an advance patrol to probe the strategic Tiger Hill, Jaswinder
was shot in both thighs. He crawled along in the snow, firing until he
was shot dead.
His family is stoic. "Someone has to
die to stop the enemy," whispers his father. "This is the only consolation,"
says Kaur, "that our tragedy can bring fortune to our country."