2008 Bombing Of Indian Embassy And The Story Of The Heroes Who Made The Ultimate Sacrifice To Save Lives
It's the cause, not the death, that makes a martyr- Nepoleon Bonaparte
It has been 10 long years since the suicide attack at the Indian Embassy in Kabul where two Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) constables, Ajay Singh Pathania, who hailed from Pathankot in Punjab, and Constable Roop Singh of Mandi in Himachal Pradesh laid down their lives in order to save others. It is still very fresh in the minds of politically-conscious Indians, recently these brave martyrs had been conferred with Kirti Chakra, a peace time gallantry award for their valor, courageous action and self-sacrifice away from the field of battle.
The Indian embassy, which is in the center of Kabul, is strategically located around important government buildings and embassies. It is a very busy, tree-lined street where people usually line up at the embassy gates to apply for visas to India.
On 7th July 2008 approximately around 8:30 AM, a land rover carrying Brigadier Ravi Dutt Mehta and Counsellor V Venkatashwara Rao approached the gate, Ajay Singh who was manning the gates spotted a white car approaching behind the Land Rover. Both these alert constables, who had been serving in Afghanistan for quite some time, knew the modus-operandi of these suicide attackers. Even in this case they could sense that something was not right. They knew there was a possibility that the vehicle could be laden with explosives and carrying a suicide bomber.
The watchful Ajay Singh became more and more suspicious of the tailing car and shouted at Constable Roop Singh to not to lift the anti-bomb hexa-barrier. Roop Singh, who too by the time had sensed the danger did not lift the barrier. The suicide bomber, who was desperate to wreak havoc decided to ram his explosive laden car into the Land Rover resulting in a huge explosion, causing the death of the defense attache and the senior diplomat including the heroes of the day. This bombing killed 58 and wounded 141 people.
Both Ajay Singh and Roop Singh became heroes as they laid down their lives for something bigger than themselves. They prevented the attacker from entering the embassy compound, which could have led to greater damage and loss of life. Till their last breath they stood by the motto of their force, Shaurya-Dridhata-Karma Nishtha” (Valour – Determination – Devotion to Duty). “Pathania and Singh displayed extreme courage and valor, dedication and devotion to duty, motivation and determination, averted a major disaster inside the Indian Embassy at Kabul and gave the supreme sacrifice protecting the honor and sovereignty of the nation for which they were honored with Kirti Chakra posthumously,” a Home Ministry official said.
The defense ministry had formally recommended their names for the gallantry award a fortnight after the incident. On August 15th 2008, both Constable Ajay Singh Pathania and Roop Singh along with Brigadier Ravi Dutt Mehta had been conferred with gallantry awards.
In the line of duty, they accepted death with open arms. May their bravery, and heroism be remembered and honored forever.
Picture Source : The Quint; The Indian Express; Al Jazeera; Udaipur Times
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