For Captain Pawan Kumar, a Jat and a JNU degree holder, all that mattered was love for the country and not calls of "azadi" on the campus or reservation demand by his community members in Haryana.
Three army commandos, including two Captains, and a militant were killed on Sunday in a gunfight with a group of terrorists holed up inside a government building on the outskirts of Srinagar, raising the toll to seven in the encounter that began on Saturday afternoon.
The Army lost Captain Pawan Kumar, Captain Tushar Mahajan and jawan Om Prakash, all of the elite Para commando units, in the gunbattle on Sunday. The army succeeded in eliminating one of the terrorists by Sunday evening, an official said.
Captain Pawan Kumar, who hailed from Haryana's Jind, sustained grievous injuries in militant firing as security forces tried to make their way into the building in the wee hours today, an army official said. He succumbed to injuries later.
Captain Tushar Mahajan from Udhampur was also injured in the encounter and succumbed to injuries later at hospital.
As the security forces exchanged heavy gunfire with the holed up militants, another soldier from the Para unit, Om Prakash, was injured and taken to 92 Base Hospital of the Army at Badamibagh Cantonment where he succumbed.
"Kisiko reservation chahiye to kisiko azadi bhai. Humein kuchh nahin chahiye bhai. Bas apni razai. (Some want reservation and some independence, I don't want anything, brother, I want only my quilt)," said the 23-year-old captain of the Special Forces, who laid down his life while leading his team against terrorists in Pampore in Jammu and Kashmir in his last Facebook post on Saturday.
The young para commando had been in the Army for only three years after graduating from the National Defence Academy. Under a tie-up NDA has with JNU, he had a degree from the prestigious university in Delhi.
The 10 Para Special Forces officer was leading his men from the front in a complicated operation in a 7-storey building in Pampore where at least three terrorists had holed up.
The army described him as an "inspiring leader", who in spite of being injured in an earlier anti-terrorist operation, went on to volunteer for more operations.
The young officer belonged to Haryana which is witnessing large-scale violence over the demand by Jats for reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.
His Facebook account gives one a glimpse into his life. He has posted pictures of him with motorbikes and jeeps. One of his profile pictures he posted last year was of his dog Tyson, a young Rottweiler.
The terrorists had been holed up in the building since Saturday afternoon after they attacked a CRPF convoy, killing two jawans and a civilian and injuring nine other jawans.
The multi-storied building of Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) building in Pampore caught fire on Sunday afternoon as the encounter between army and the heavily-armed terrorists, suspected to be 3-4 in number, continued till late on Sunday.
Through the day, the terrorists kept on firing and throwing grenades on the security forces who had surrounded the building and made attempts to storm it.
Nearly 100 civilians -- staff and students of Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) -- were evacuated to safety by the security forces from the building, a police official said.
He said the operation might be prolonged as militants seem to be heavily armed.
The open structure of the building where the militants are hiding also poses a difficulty to the security forces in advancing towards it, he added.