With his leave sanctioned, soldier Devendra Soni was waiting for a replacement to arrive so he could proceed for home when an avalanche struck his Army camp in Jammu and Kashmir and claimed his life.
Now the family of the 24-year-old Soni, attached to 51 units of National Rifles, awaits his mortal remains which are expected to arrive here tomorrow.
“I was informed by the National Rifles headquarters about Devendra’s martyrdom yesterday evening. His mortal remains would be brought tomorrow to Jabalpur and then to Shahdol,” Devendra’s father Vijay Soni said.
Soni was among the 14 soldiers who were killed after avalanches struck their post on Wednesday in Gurez sector of Kashmir.
Soni’s father recalls that he had tried to talk to him on January 20 but failed to get through due to inclement weather. “I tried to call him on January 20 as his leave was sanctioned. But, he could not be contacted due to bad weather,” he says.
“He was posted in Kashmir since past seven years,” he says, adding that his son was waiting for the replacement to arrive so that he could proceed for the leave.
“Devendra was recruited in Jabalpur recruitment rally of Army held in 2010. Since, then he was posted in Kashmir,” recalled his father.
Meanwhile, a pall of gloom descended at Soni’s residence after the news of his death. A large number of people reached Soni’s residence throughout the day to express their grief.