Two army personnel were martyred during a gunbattle with militants in the Zainapora area of Shopian on Saturday evening. The slain armymen have been identified as Sepoy Ilayaraja P, a resident of Tamil Nadu, and Sepoy Gawai Sumedh Waman, a resident of Maharashtra. What magnifies this tragedy that Ilayaraja, who was recruited to the army only four years, is survived by his four months pregnant wife.

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His father Periasamy and mother Meenakshi are both daily wage labouerers. For this family residing in Kandani, a village in Tamil Nadu’s Sivaganga district, Ilayraja was only hope for a better life.It was less than a year since he got married. “He got married just 11 months back,” Ilayaraja’s brother-in-law told The News Minute. “His wife and mother are inconsolable,” he added. “Ilayaraja was thrilled that he had an opportunity to serve the nation, he called India his first mother. From a very young age, he wanted to fight for the country,” he added.

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The TNM report also says that late Jawan’s father has been untraceable for a week. He had left the house to find some odd jobs to supplement the family’s income and nobody has been able to contact him since. For village youths, Ilayaraja had been an inspiration for many of them to try join the Indian army. Banners were being installed in the village paying tribute to the departed soul.

 

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