Family members of the brave martyr Lance Naik Sandeep Somnath were busy making preparations for his wedding scheduled to take place next month. But he left the world for the heavenly abode sacrificing his life to protect the nation from four militants who attacked Indian Army Brigade headquarters in Uri near the Line of Control (LoC). Grief had struck the family of Sandeep Somnath Thok of 6 Bihar Regiment when they received a call that their son was among the dead. A proposal for his marriage had come a month ago and everything was finalized.
Leaving a bright future after pursuing bachelors in pharmacy, 25-year-old Sandeep was a resident of Khandagli village in Nashik. He later decided to join the Army and he was commissioned in the armed forces in 2014. His first posting was in the strategically important but difficult terrain of the Uri sector. Sandeep’s father Somnath Thok, a farmer by profession, had the only son among two married daughters. “How unfortunate father I am that I am lifting the coffin of my son even before his marriage,” said the inconsolable father. The entire village is in shock since the news of Sandeep’s demise arrived. His body was brought to Pune through a special aircraft and then sent to his village by road.
Four heavily armed militants entered the administrative base camp at around 3:30am and went through the camp with the help of night vision lamp for around two hours. Then, they are said to have attacked unarmed jawans who were busy refueling vehicles from fuel tank. The terrorists lobbed 17 grenades in three minutes. As the fuel tank exploded, the four infiltrators took positions in different empty barracks. As a rear administrative base camp with tents caught fire, 13–14 army personnel were killed. A gun battle ensued lasting six hours, during which all the terrorists were killed.
Combing operations continued to flush out additional terrorists that were thought to be alive. After the attack, reports had emerged that three wounded soldiers had succumbed to their injuries. This was however denied by Minister of State for Defence, Subhash Bhamre. Most of the soldiers killed were from the 10 Dogra and 6 Bihar regiments. One of the injured soldiers succumbed to his injuries on Monday at R&R Hospital in New Delhi.
There was specific intelligence report from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) two days earlier that terrorists were planning to strike army formations close to the Line of Control (LoC). The intelligence agency had said that three suicide bomber squads were launched from Pakistan-administered Kashmir. One of them attacked Uri, another went to Poonch where it was engaged by the security forces, and the third is believed to be targeting Srinagar highway.
Long live the brave souls!