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Photo - MAJOR VIVEK GUPTA Information

Description: FAREWELL HERO: Capt Jayashree saluting the mortal remains
of her husband, Major Vivek Gupta, who was killed in the Army operations
in the Kargil sector. Photo: Subhendu Ghosh.

There was pride in her salute and sorrow in her eyes as Capt Jayshree Gupta bid a final farewell to her slain husband Maj Vivek Gupta, the hero of the first major victory achieved by the Indian forces in Kargil.

Maj Gupta and six others from his team captured the Pt 4950 peak at Tuloling before they were killed in fierce combat.

The bodies of the soldiers from the 2nd Rajputana Rifles, who were killed on the icy heights on the intervening night of June 12 and 13, were flown to Delhi and accorded a ceremonial farewell.

Among those to bid farewell were several retired officers from the same unit including Lt Gen O P Kaushik, former Colonel of the regiment. “Vivek was an extremely endearing young man. Exceptionally tall and handsome, he had a certain dynamism. He has done the regiment proud and his sacrifice is in line with our tradition. The Second is the first regiment in the Indian Army to be awarded the Victoria Cross. In the 1965 conflict, we snatched Dera Baba Nanak. Exceptionally difficult tasks have been entrusted to our boys and we have always proved our mettle,” said Lt Gen Kaushik. The 2nd Rajputana Rifles is the sixth highly decorated unit of the Indian Army.

While a grief stricken Capt Jayshree barely contained her sorrow, it was left to Maj Gupta’s relatives to remember him. “Vivek had last come on leave in May. His unit was in the Valley but it was only after he returned that they were asked to move to Kargil. Only one word can describe him: he was a dynamite,” said his cousins Ravi and Shailendra Singhal.

After all the ceremonies, she came forward slowly, saluted him in an immaculate drill, laid a wreath, said a silent goodbye and was gone. Her personal moments with him would be reserved for later.

What was going on in the mind of Captain (Dr) Rajshree Gupta as she paid respects to her husband Major Vivek Gupta of Rajputana Rifles who laid down his life fighting in Kargil on June 14 can be well imagined, but she never let her composure desert her.

Courtesy: Hindustan Times & Deccan Herald
Date: 08.09.2004 04:04
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