Outstanding basketball player from Punjab’s Gurdaspur killed in Pulwama attack

Satpal Attari said on Friday his son Maninder Singh was an outstanding basketball player and had represented his school and college at the national level. He got a job with the CRPF under sports quota about 15 months ago.

And, he got a call at midnight on Thursday from Central Reserve Police Force’s officials that 30-year-old Maninder had died in the suicide bombing on the convoy of CRPF vehicles in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama.

A 22-year-old suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into one of the buses in the 78-vehicle CRPF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in Awantipora area of Pulwama. The CRPF has confirmed 38 deaths in the suicide bombing, counted among the bloodiest in Kashmir.

Initial reports, quoting security officials, had said 44 soldiers were feared to have been killed in the attack. Most of them were returning to their stations after their leave. Four men from Punjab have lost their lives in the attack.

Attari said Maninder had come home in Dinanagar town of Punjab’s Gurdaspur district for 15 days on January 30. His leave was extended for ten more days by CRPF after heavy rains and snowfall in Srinagar had blocked the highways.

The retired traffic manager from Punjab Roadways said his son left home for his 75th battalion on Wednesday at about 5.15am and called him at about 10am that he had reached. He spoke to him again at about 7pm when Maninder asked him if he had eaten dinner and the call lasted for five minutes.

Attari’s younger son Lakhbish Singh, 25, is also a CRPF soldier posted in Assam.

Maninder had worked with a multi-national company in Bengaluru for a few months before joining the CRPF. He said Maninder wanted to be a civil servant and had told him that he would get married only after getting a high rank in the CRPF.

First Published: Feb 15, 2019 16:25 IST

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