Screen heroes may rekindle memories of the 1999 Kargil War, but Indian Army officer Lieutenant Triveni Singh became a real life hero when he gunned down two terrorists in direct combat. The young soldier's raw courage averted what could have been a bloodbath at Jammu Railway Station on January 2. After accomplishing his duty, the brave officer laid down his life.
"I am proud of our young officer Lieutenant Triveni Singh, who braved firing and grenade bursts to kill both the suicide group terrorists in the shortest-ever operation at the railway station," Rajinder Singh, general officer commanding, 26 Infantry Division, said in Jammu.
Army sources said Singh, who headed the army's Quick Reaction Team posted at the station, spotted the two heavily armed Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorists forcing their way into the station in battle fatigues. Singh and his 'Ghatak Commandos' reached the spot within 10 minutes, cordoned off the station and employed the 'zigzag methodology' to arrive within close range of the terrorists, said a senior railway police officer who was at the scene.
Singh took on the terrorists in a gunfight at close quarters. He faced indiscriminate firing and lobbing of grenades. He succeeded in killing one of them and took charge of the so far 'uncontrollable' situation, the official said. The first terrorist was killed near the bridge between the first and the second platforms, he added.
The second terrorist lobbed a grenade at Singh while trying to escape but the seriously injured officer stood up and killed him before being shot in the head.
"Task accomplished," Singh said and saluted the GOC before breathing his last.
Rajinder Singh remembered the lieutenant, who was commissioned in the 5 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry in 2001, as a "brave and sharp boy".
Seven people were killed and 15 were injured in the attack. The exchange of fire between the two sides continued for almost two and a half hours.
Army sources said the other fatalities occurred as the terrorists fired indiscriminately while trying to get away. They said they had recovered a huge cache of AK-47 magazines and grenades from the terrorists, both suspected to be Pakistani nationals.
The lieutenant's body has been taken by land to his hometown Pathankot in Punjab, where he will be given a funeral with full military honours.