Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Forgotten Soldier at Taj

An email regarding Capt AK Singh was forwarded to me and the shocking incident goaded me to take some tangible action. On 27 Nov, Capt AK Singh was one of these NSG commandos sent to Mumbai to deal with the terrorists he was one of those sent to Mumbai for dealing with the terrorists. Launched straight away into the operations at the Oberoi Hotel, he quickly established contact with one of the terrorists on the 18th floor at 1800 hr that day. Since the terrorist was holed up inside a room, they blasted the door open. However before Capt AK Singh and his men could throw a grenade inside, the terrorist threw a grenade at them. The grenade burst right in front of the Capt Singh and with splinter injuries all over, he fell unconscious. He was the only offr to be injured in the complete operation.

Later Capt AK Singh was operated upon in a hospital in Mumbai and all splinters
removed from his body barring one. That splinter had pierced the left
eye and destroyed it completely. Sadly the loss is irreparable which cannot even be replaced with a donor eye. What is more shocking that this incident was no where in news, no media coverage plus there was not even a mention in the press statements

The officer quietly fought a lonely battle in the in ‘Bombay Hospital’, while the whole country was grieving for the dead soldiers his family didn’t know whom to turn to for help. For Capt Singh it is a perfect case of Better to Die in a war than be Injured. Though the army stood by its soldier it was the sheer grit of another fellow officer Col IS Gill, a commanding officer who left no stone unturned in helping his brother officer. I was able to get Col Gill’s number after a long and tiring search and when I did speak to him he was one thrilled human being. He told me that Capt Singh is in a much better shape and is presently on sick leave in his hometown of Lucknow.

But the question is if this can happen to an officer, a soldier, what must be happening to a common man? I have forwarded the mail to all my colleagues in media, some of them have already jumped the gun and hopefully Capt Singh’s act of bravery won’t go unnoticed. Amen