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In Bihar’s Madhepura, a village mourns solider killed in LoC clash in Kashmir

A pall of gloom descended in Parmanpur village of Bihar’s Madhepura district on Monday morning as news spread of the death of Captain Ashutosh Kumar in a gun battle with terrorists on the Line of Control in the Machil sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara on Sunday.

Three other security personnel and three terrorists were also killed in the encounter.

Twenty four-year-old Captain Ashutosh of 18 Madras Regiment was an alumnus of Sainik School, Bhubaneswar.

His neighbour Roop Narayan said, “We got information around 7.30 pm that Ashutosh has sacrificed his life. He joined the Army in 2018 and was posted in Kashmir for the last nine months. Ashutosh’s father Ravindra Yadav posted in the veterinary hospital while his mother Geeta Devi is a housewife.”

His two sisters – Khusboo Kumari and Ansu Kumari – were inconsolable. “We have lost everything. We never thought such a day would come,” said his elder sister, tightly holding his photograph.

“I am sad that I have lost my lonely son at a young age, but I am proud that he sacrificed his life for the nation. And that’s what he was trained for,” the fallen soldier’s father said.

“I have lost everything today. I talked to him last Friday and he told me that he was well and everything was fine there,” his mother said.

Vishal Vaibah, who was Captain Ashutosh’s junior at Sainik School told HT over phone that he was a brilliant student who could have easily cracked NEET or JEE, but his patriotism and love for the motherland made him join NDA . “From there, he went to IMA and was finally with the 18 Madras Regiment,” he said.

Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar said that three others killed in the gunfight were Havildar Ch Praveen Kumar, Rifleman Ryada Maheshwar, both from 18 Madras regiment and a BSF trooper identified as Constable Sudip Kumar of West Tripura.

A huge quantity of arms and ammunition including assault two rifles, two magazines and 60 rounds, a pistol 1 with two magazines, and 29 rounds besides a radio set were recovered from the slain militants.

Opposition leader Tejashi Yadav expressed deep grief over the demise of Captain Ashutosh. “The sacrifice made by Captain Ashutosh will not go in vain and he will always be remembered for his courage and bravery,” he said.

Captain Ashutosh’s body will be brought to his native village on Tuesday.

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