We Are Incomplete, Can Never Be Whole Again: Wife of Galwan Martyr

It was his dream that his family moves to Hyderabad post retirement – a dream that remains unfulfilled.

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Reporter: Nirajanand Sahai

Havildar Sunil Kumar was part of the 16 Bihar Regiment. He joined the army in 2002. On 15 June 2020, Sunil lost his life during the Galwan Valley clash with China, while serving his nation. He is survived by his wife, parents and three children.

According to Krishna Kumar, his neighbour, he used to motivate the youth and school children in his village to join the army. He believed martyrdom brings name and glory. A ‘Tiranga Yatra’ was taken out in his village to honour the braveheart.


‘Our Home is Incomplete and Can Never be Whole Again’: Wife Remembers Sunil

Riti Devi, wife of Galwan Martyr Sunil Kumar says,“I am grieving but nothing can be done about the emptiness that I feel. I feel proud because who does so much for someone? The kind of tribute he has been given. People don't receive this kind of homage. I feel very proud. But the way our home is now incomplete, it can never be whole again.”

Wife, kids and mother of late havildar Sunil Kumar.
(Photo: Nirajanand Sahai/The Quint)

Children Cherish Their Father’s Memories

Ayush, son of Sunil Kumar says, “We used to have a lot of fun whenever our father came home. We used to go to many places.”

Sonali, daughter of Sunil Kumar, remembers trips to the mall as a family, and watching movies together. She says she treasures each and every memory with her father.

Virat, son of  Sunil Kumar, had a difficult time finding words to describe how he was feeling.

“What do I say now that he is not here? If he were here, then I would have said something.”
Virat, son of Sunil Kumar

‘My Questions Remain Unanswered’: Wife on Martyr’s Death

Riti Devi lost her husband on the line of duty but has questions about his death.

“My brother-in-law was told (over a phone call) that he was martyred. But I want to know the reason. I am not satisfied with the post-mortem report. I want to know the correct reason of his death.”

There are various questions she wants answered like the correct time and date of his death as well as when and how he died. She believes it’s her right to know these facts. According to her, the clash in Galwan Valley happened on 15 June, but the post-mortem report stated he died on 16 June, 5:30 pm due to drowning.

“So, was he alive till then? This is my question and I want an answer to it.”

The Last Conversation

According to his wife he planned to take a leave and come home but it got cancelled because of coronavirus. He was very upset that the leave was cancelled and it was uncertain when he would get a leave next. It had been seven months since he was last at home. He called on 6 June and they spoke for 2 minutes. He asked his wife how she was doing, to which she replied saying she’s fine and enquired why he hadn’t called regularly. He said he couldn't help it as calls are not easy to make because of the network.

“In the army, there is a rule to not share any information over phone call. Whatever I asked, he didn't tell me. Even when he was ascending he didn't tell me. He only said that 'my unit is moving'.”

“He never shared his difficulties. He used to say, ‘I am in the army, living like how people in the army live’, and that ‘I am fine.’”
Rita Devi, wife of Sunil Kumar

According to his wife, it was his dream that his family moves to Hyderabad post retirement – a dream that remains unfulfilled. “There are so many things like this, what can I tell you? He used to say that it's been too long in the service, now he will stay at home with the kids and family and run a business.”


Martyr's Wife Demands A Written Job Guarantee By the Government

“What are they doing for my kids? Money can't bring someone's husband back. You have given the money, is that enough? These days people don't get jobs even after getting an education. There's a lack of jobs. They should promise to give a job to my kids and they should give it in writing. According to their education, they should be given a job in the army.”

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