Two bravehearts from Tamil Nadu, were amongst the at least 40 CRPF personnel who were killed in a suicide terror attack on Thursday in Pulwama district in Jammu and Kashmir. And while a shocked nation watched footage of the remains of the attack in their living rooms, for two families from the state, the devastating news of loss of their loved ones was delivered personally.
28-year-old G Subramanian from Thoothukudi district and 33-year-old Sivachandran from Ariyalur district had both returned to their camps merely five days before the attack. They had been in their hometowns for a month before that, even celebrating Pongal with their families. While shock and disbelief permeated their villages on arrival of the news initially, the families have now reconciled to the truth and for a final glimpse of the brave soldiers.
Subramanian, who belonged to Savalaperi, had joined CRPF in 2014. He was posted in Uttar Pradesh and in Chennai before being moved to Jammu and Kashmir. He got married to Krishnaveni in 2017 and local residents recall that he has always encouraged youth in their village to be fit and actively take part in sports. His parents are both farmers and Subramanian's mortal remains will be buried in a plot belonging to their family.
Krishnaveni, Subramanian's wife, told PTI that her husband had sustained injuries following stone pelting in Kashmir months after her marriage.
"But he did not disclose it. He will never reveal such hazards he faced in the line of duty as we will be upset," she told the media.
Sivachandran, meanwhile, was the sole breadwinner of his family after his younger brother passed away last year in a freak accident. He was born into a family of agricultural labourers and his earnings had managed to stablise the family income. His wife Gandhimathi is currently pregnant with their second child and their first son is two years old.
He worked as a teacher before he joined the army and relatives say he encouraged the youth in his village to do the same. And while the Tamil Nadu government has announced a solatium of Rs 20 lakh for both families, Sivachandran's parents have requested that the government provide employment opportunities to his wife who has a nursing diploma.
The mortal remains of both soldiers are expected in their hometowns on Saturday afternoon. While Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Tamil Nadu BJP chief Tamiliasai Soundararajan are expected in Ariyalur, Minister Kadambur Raju and Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan are expected to be present in Thoothukudi for the final rituals.