It would have been his 25th birthday today. But instead of waiting to wish him, Prabhu Singh’s family is now waiting for the mutilated body of the slain soldier who was killed and beheaded in Machil sector of Kupwara district in north Kashmir.

Prabhu got married in July 2013. He has left behind his wife Om Kanwar and a two-year-old daughter Palak.

On the day Prabhu was born, his father Chandra Singh had decided that he would make his son a soldier. He recalls that his father, Achal Singh, served the country. He too was in the Army from 1979 to 1998. His three brothers also served in Army’s Armoured Corps, Artillery and in the Madhya Pradesh Police. “It is our family tradition to serve the country,” he said.

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Back home in Shergarh tehsil in Rajasthan, his father demands strict action against Pakistan for the brutality that has been meted out to his son. “The government should take strict action against Pakistan or else lakhs of soldiers will be martyred. The Prime Minister should do something now,” he added.

He visited his home in October, 10 days before Diwali. Since 7 pm on Tuesday when the news of the death reached, his wife and his mother Raju Kanwar have not eaten anything.

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His funeral arrangements are being made outside his home. The district administration and the Army are not yet sure whether they should allow the family to view his body. While relatives feel they should at least be given a chance to view his face, officials fear it may disturb the family members.

Since September 29, when India conducted the surgical strikes at the terror base camps in Pakistan, there have been over 280 incidents of firing and shelling in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistani troops.

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Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju has assured that a befitting reply will be given to those responsible for the attack. Calling the act unfortunate, he also added that the attack shows Pakistan’s frustration.

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Along with Rifleman Prabhu Singh, two other Indian soldiers – 31-year-old K Kushwah of Daddupur, Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh and 25-year-old Shashank K Singh of Nasirudinpur in Mohamadabad tehsil of Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh were killed on Tuesday.