A pall of gloom descended on the native places of Sena Medal-awardee Col Manpreet Singh and Major Aashish Dhonchak of 19 Rashtriya Rifles, who made the supreme sacrifice while protecting the nation from the terrorists in Anantnag on Wednesday.

While Col Manpreet Singh belongs to Mohali in Punjab, Major Dhonchak from Panipat in Haryana.

"We last spoke to him (Col Manpreet Singh) at 6.45 a.m. and later got a call at around 3 p.m. that he has been injured. He was a great man. Last year, he was awarded Sena Medal for his duty. I salute him," Colonel Manpreet Singh’s brother told the media.

His family, comprising mother, wife Jagmeet Grewal and two children -- a daughter, aged six, and a son, aged two, resides near New Chandigarh in Mohali district, near here.

Planning to visit the family on his birthday next month, Major Dhonchak joined the India Army in 2013 and was the lone brother of three sisters.

He’s survived by his wife Jyoti and three-year-old daughter Vamika.

As the news of his death spread, villagers and neighbours rushed to his house in Sector 7.

Lal Chand, his father, along with the family, had shifted to a rented accommodation after he retired from National Fertilizers Ltd.

Major Dhonchak’s grandfather told the media that he was an intelligent man and scarified his life for the country.

"Everyone in the village will wait for the arrival of his mortal remains," he said with teary eyes.

Col Manpreet Singh’s wife Jagmeet is an economics teacher with the Haryana government and is posted in Panchkula district.

Col Manpreet Singh was leading his troops from the front when he received critical gunshot wounds.

"Punjab Police salutes our martyr Col. Manpreet Singh & Maj. Ashish Dhonchak of 19 Rashtriya Rifles, and DSP Humayun Bhat of J&K Police who

lost their lives during a fierce gunfight with terrorists in #Anantnag, #JammuKashmir," Punjab Police said in a post on 'X'.

"The nation will remain indebted to them for their supreme sacrifice. Our fighters have always fought for safeguarding the unity & integrity of

India, both in the Armed Forces & the Police," it added.

Source IANS

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