Need to take care of 1,500 men, you take care of family: What Handwara encounter martyr told his wife

Wife of Handwara encounter martyr Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, Pallavi Ashutosh, says that his family intends to remember the officer “not for the loss, but for his passion and courage.”

“He had passion and prioritised his unit and the love for his uniform. My loss is irreparable and unbearable but I am proud of my husband for what he did for his men and safety of civilians,” she said.

Colonel Sharma, along with 4 other personnel of Indian security forces was killed in an encounter with terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Handwara on May 2.

According to his wife, the officer always spoke about his unit’s welfare to her and “always prioritised their fitness and food. As an officer, he intended that his men are taken care of.”

Maintaining a courageous calm, she told India Today TV, “He used to say to me, I will kill terrorists and return home. Yes, he is coming back tomorrow but will be wrapped in the tricolour. “

Months ago, a TV news channel unit had interviewed Pallavi on the occasion of Karva Chauth while Colonel Sharma was away on duty.

Today, as cameras again reached her residence the “situation was totally different”.

About the officer losing his life while leading from the front, she said, “I am sure he took the decision because he was confident that I will manage in his absence. He used to say to me, ‘I need to take care of 1,500 men. I am sure you will take good care of the family”.

The couple last met February 27 for the Sena Medal investiture ceremony in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur. But they could only meet for two days then.

She recounted that Colonel Sharma had bought new shoes and had told her he will wear them new once he has finished his operations.

Colonel Sharma also leaves behind a mother and a young daughter.

“I want my child to remember her father as a man of principles, who used to lead his men and operations regardless of the risk involved. He must be remembered as a man who loved his work and country. He was always smiling,” the bereaved wife said.

“My husband treated me like a celebrity. I have no regrets,” she added.

In a setback, two senior army officers, including a colonel-rank officer, were among five security personnel killed during an encounter with terrorists at a village in Rajwar forests of North Kashmir.

The deceased security personnel are Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, Major Anuj Sood, Naik Rajesh and Lance Naik Dinesh, all from the Brigade of GUARDS regiment, and at present part of the 21 Rashtriya Rifles, deployed to counter terrorism in the hinterland.

A Jammu and Kashmir Police Sub-Inspector, Shakeel Qazi, also fell victim of to the bullets of terrorists.

The two holed-up terrorists, who were eliminated in the encounter, included commander of banned Lashkar-e-Taiba Haider, a Pakistani national who has been active in North Kashmir area. The identity of the other was yet to be ascertained.

READ | Handwara encounter: 21 Rashtriya Rifles loses decorated officer, its second CO to be martyred in two decades

READ | Gallantry medal recipient, Colonel Ashutosh Sharma’s aim was to eliminate LeT commander Haider

READ | Colonel, Major among 5 killed in encounter in J&K’s Handwara; LeT commander gunned down

WATCH FULL INTERVIEW | I am proud of my husband for what he did for the nation, his unit’s pride: Pallavi, wife of Col Ashutosh Sharma

Source – India Today