A policeman guards near the Indian Air Force base that was attacked by the terrorists in Pathankot on Saturday, January 2, 2016. (Press Trust of India photo)
Ambala: The family members of Garud Commando Gursewak Singh were in a state of shock on receiving the news about his martyrdom in the Pathankot terror attack, just over a month after his marriage, even as his father expressed pride that he laid down his life for the country.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar condoled the death of the commando and announced a financial assistance of Rs 20 lakh to the next of kin of Corporal Gursewak.
The family, which resides in Garnala village near Ambala city, is yet to receive the body for the last rites. According to official information, the martyr's body would be airlifted to Ambala airbase later today.
He had joined Indian Air Force about six years ago after completing his graduation. He had got married just 45 days ago.
His father, Sucha Singh who is a farmer, said that he received information about Corporal Gursewak's martyrdom from his elder son who is an officer in the Army and asserted that he was proud that his son had laid down his life for the country.
The corporal, who was described as an intelligent and bright youth, by his father, had cleared the Air Force exam in the first attempt.
"My boy had gone to serve the nation. I am proud of him. He has done his duty. We are sad too. Our elder son is also in the Army serving the nation. My younger son gave his life for the country. He was always good in studies and always wanted to join the Air Force," Mr Sucha Singh said.
"Legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh was his icon," he added.
His cousin Harikrishan Singh said, "He did his engineering in Bengaluru... We have lost one warrior."
Haryana's Heath Minister Anil Vij visited the corporal's residence this afternoon to console the family. Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Ashok Sangwan said that the body of the martyr would be cremated with full state honours.
Another martyred soldier Lt Col EK Niranjan, head of the elite bomb squad of the NSG and an "explosives expert", was today killed while defusing an IED at the Pathankot IAF base.
Officials said he was undertaking a mopping up and render safe procedure on the encounter spot when a blast occurred and splinters and sharpnels hit the officer fatally.
"Lt Col EK Niranjan was an expert on explosives and head of the bomb disposal squad. He was a brave soldier. "His professionalism and dedication to serve the nation will inspire everyone in NSG for many many years to come. I salute to the brave soul," National Security Guard Director General RC Tayal told PTI.
Officials said Havildar RD Sahu of the dog squad (K9) has also been injured due to splinters and has been admitted to the base hospital in Pathankot along with few of other NSG men.
NSG commando Lt Col Niranjan, who has his family in Bangalore, was commissioned in the Engineers Regiment of the Army in 2004.
He hailed from Palghat in Kerala and is survived by his wife Dr Radhika and a 18-month-old daughter.