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Uri Attack: Remember the Names, Faces, the People They Left Behind

One year after the Uri attack, let’s pause for a moment and remember what the attack cost us. 

Updated
India
4 min read
18 soldiers were killed in an attack on an Indian army base on 18 September 2016.
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(This story was first published on 19 September 2016. It has been republished from The Quint’s archives to mark the one year anniversary of the Uri attack.)

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Eighteen soldiers were killed in the attack on the Indian Army base in Uri on 18 September 2016. The warmongers were demanding a “complete jaw for one tooth” and news reports claimed Prime Minister Modi had agreed to hit a U-turn on his flyby bonhomie with Pakistan.

Before we get lost in the hyperbole, let’s take a note of what it had cost us.

Uri Attack: Remember the Names, Faces, the People They Left Behind
(Photo: Rhythm Seth/ The Quint)
Uri Attack: Remember the Names, Faces, the People They Left Behind
(Photo: Rhythm Seth/ The Quint)

1. Havildar Ravi Paul

“A soldier does not know when and where the bullet hits him. But lucky are those who receive the bullet on their chest and not in the back,” Pradeep recalled his uncle Havildar Ravi Paul’s words to him in the Daily Excelsior. “A gentle, sober person who had no grudge with anybody,” he added.

Havildar Ravi Paul’s 23 years of service to the Indian Army came to an end on 18 September 2016 while fighting suspected Jaish terrorists in Uri. He is survived by his wife Geeta Rani and two sons – Vansh (10) and Kaka (7).

Ravi was home in Shibu Chak, Jammu, two months ago and had promised to return with gifts for his children from Kashmir after his regiment 10 Dogra was shifted there.

Havildar Ravi Paul (L) and Naib Subedar Karnail Singh (R) had a lot in common: Both belonged to Jammu and were part of the 10 Dogra Regiment. They’re  survived by sons and both their wives are called Geeta. 
Havildar Ravi Paul (L) and Naib Subedar Karnail Singh (R) had a lot in common: Both belonged to Jammu and were part of the 10 Dogra Regiment. They’re survived by sons and both their wives are called Geeta. 
(Photo Courtesy: Daily Excelsior)

2. Naib Subedar Karnail Singh

Naib Subedar Karnail Singh spoke to his family in Jammu’s Samba district on 17 September 2016 and informed them that the advance party of his regiment, 10 Dogra, had reached Pathankot and that he will be home in a day or two. But the next day, he was killed in action at the army base in Uri. He’s survived by his wife Geeta Rani and three sons – Anmol, Arun and Shibam.

They last saw him in December.

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3. Havildar Ashok Kumar Singh

“I don’t want anything except revenge for my husband and the 17 jawans who were killed with him,” says Havildar Ashok Kumar Singh’s wife Sangeeta.

Havildar Ashok Kumar Singh joined the army following his older brother who was martyred in 1988. Singh is survived by his wife Sangeeta, and two sons – Vikas, who’s currently serving in the army, and Vishal.

Martyred Havildar Ashok Kumar Singh’s wife Sangeeta. 
Martyred Havildar Ashok Kumar Singh’s wife Sangeeta. 
(Photo: ANI)

4. Sepoy Rakesh Singh

Desh ke liye kurbaan ho gaya toh koi afsos ki baat nahi
Sepoy Rakesh Singh’s brother 

There’s no regret, only grief at Sepoy Rakesh Singh’s house in Baddja village of Kaimur district in Bihar.

Sepoy Rakesh Singh’s brother. 
Sepoy Rakesh Singh’s brother. 
(Photo: ANI)

5. Naik SK Vidyarthi

Formed during World War II, the Bihar regiment deployed more than 10,000 soldiers to Kargil in 1999. Sixteen of the 18 soldiers that were martyred that dreadful day belonged to the Bihar regiment.

Naik SK Vidyarthi from Gaya, Bihar, was among them.

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6. Sepoy G Dalai

Twenty-two-year-old Sepoy G Dalai was the youngest soldier to be killed in the attack. Hundreds of people poured into his house in Ganga Sagar district of 24 Parganas where the family demanded the strictest of punishment for the attackers.

Uri Attack: Remember the Names, Faces, the People They Left Behind
(Photo: ANI)

“He was only 22-years-old, a junior. Normally, seniors are sent into such sensitive zones. Why was my son sent there?” asked G Dalai’s father.

Uri Attack: Remember the Names, Faces, the People They Left Behind
(Photo: ANI)

“He called me on Thursday, said I will go from here... bombs are being thrown... they will kill us,” recalled G Dalai’s mother.

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