Indian soldiers killed by Pakistanis at the Line of Control
"Your boy was a very brave person, but we are sorry... he has died," the telephone call on Tuesday afternoon, shattered the family of Sepoy Raghunandan Prasad in Bihar's Saran district, 116 km from capital Patna.
Raghunandan, 23, had joined the army two years ago. In his last call to his family back in village Nautan, he had exulted about his fascination with life in the army.
On Monday night, Raghunanadan Prasad, along with Naik Prem Nath, 35, Lance Naik Shambhu Saran, 29, Sepoy Vijay Kumar Rai, 27, and 36-year-old Naik Pundalik, were killed by Pakistani soldiers at the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
The jawans were on what is called an area domination patrol when 20 heavily armed Pakistanis attacked them at around 2 am.
Prem Nath, Vijay Kumar and Shambhu Saran had all been the army for at least a decade and have young children.
Army Chief General Bikram Singh paid tribute to the martyrs in Jammu on Wednesday morning.
Bihar's Nitish Kumar government announced a state funeral for Raghunandan and three others from the 21 Bihar Regiment, and also a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for their families.
"We are proud that he died serving the country...but like this?" said his uncle Tribhuwan Prasad, surrounded by a crowd of mourning relatives and villagers. He explained that the family had a proud tradition of sending people to the army. Raghunandan's father, also in the army, died in 1992, but his younger brother, an engineering student, is an exception.
A sixth jawan has been seriously injured in the attack by the Pakistanis and is in a military hospital.