GAJENDRA SINGH BISHT
1972 - 2008
THE tiny village of Ganeshpur turned out in full strength to bid adieu to its hero, Havaldar Gajendra Singh Bisht (36), the National Security Guards (NSG) commando who died fighting terrorists in Mumbai.
Havaldar Gajendra’s mortal remains were consigned to the flames with full military honours on Saturday afternoon with more than a thousand people from Ganeshpur and its adjoining villages participating in the funeral.
“He had always wanted to be in the forces and had always wanted to die like a hero. And that is precisely what happened,” said his brother, Birender Singh Bisht, an official in the Uttarakhand Police. Amongst those present to pay their respects to the martyr was his teacher from Janata Inter College in Naya Gaon Subhash Chand Jasola. “He had studied in the college from 1980 to 1990. I cannot forget his interest in sports, particularly boxing. He was a disciplined student and participated in every event organised in the school, be it sports or cultural activities,” said Jasola, who teaches English at the college. He said that Havaldar Gajendra is the third student from the college to have died for the country in military operations. Earlier, two of his former students had died during the Kargil operations. Havaldar Gajendra had also participated in the Kargil operations.
The college was shut for the day in honour of Havaldar Gajendra’s sacrifice and the entire staff and students had turned up for his funeral.
“I met him last in August when our father Late Daulat Singh had died. Thereafter, we had been in touch on phone,” said his brother. He said Gajendra joined the Garhwal Rifles in 1991 and then chose to be part of the 10 Para (Special Force). Thereafter, he had opted to be a NSG commando. He was based in Delhi when he was asked to be part of Mumbai operation.
“After having dinner on November 26, he got a call from his office saying that an alert has been sounded. He had left the house carrying bare essentials, telling me that he would be back in a while. It was a couple of hours later that we were told that he had been sent to Mumbai,” said his wife Vineeta Devi (31). She said her husband wanted their daughter Preeti (10) to be an air hostess and son Gaurav (12) to be an Army officer. “I wonder where we are faltering in dealing with terrorism. We have the best of forces and technology. We need to ponder why innocents are losing their lives while those compromising with their duties are making millions,” said the deceased’s maternal uncle Dr Hoshiar Singh Negi.
Uttarakhand Governor B.L. Joshi, Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri and IMA Commandant Lt Gen R.S. Sujlana paid a visit to Havaldar Gajendra’s house to offer their condolences to his family.
In his address, Joshi said, “As the Governor of the state, I am proud of the supreme sacrifice made by Havaldar Gajendra. At the same time, I am also very sad at his untimely death. The whole nation is with his family at this hour of grief.” Khanduri announced an immediate aid of Rs 5 lakh to the family of Havaldar Ganjendra.
_Rajeev Khanna, Dehradun, November 29