They launched like every other time..Communication check, Equipment check, Weapon check, Medical check….But this time they never came back.
There were no last letters for just in case…No last calls to tell one more time… No recorded videos for posterity….No last wishes on Radio, when they lay bleeding with their guts spilled but still fighting. But they never came back.
They launched like ghosts in the dark, fought like the warriors in the solitary night but only came back silently, draped in the tricolour.
The rotors whirred….the drop made in the green glow….The arduous 4 hour journey began….
As the world lay quarantined, made prisoners in their own home by a Virus…The buddies advanced nonchalantly..fearlessly ..confidently.. with purpose. The squad moved as one.
UAV had spotted a track of 5. Tracks were seen in snow going along in a nallah. The two squads were launched to track the ghosts. Hours later, the squads were confident that the target was near.
The Squads separated along the two shoulders to box the location. Night was dark and the access slanting and steep, but that is why the specialists were there. It is what they do, that is what they are specialised in.
And then the tragedy unfolded. Along the cliff, on the shoulder on which the right squad was moving – The complete snow block collapsed, taking the Squad leader and the two scouts down all the way to the nallah…All three fell straight down to what emerged later to be within 2 metres from the hiding 5.
The area was lit up..The three were taking fire..The squad was under intense engagement.
The remaining two of the Squad went ballistic…Self preservation mode was off..They jumped and ran into the fusillade for a fighting extraction..
The 4 terrorists got an opportunity to pump a few magazines out before they got the tap for eternal silence. The fifth ran to meet his end with the stops. All 5 lay dead.
But, the whole squad paid the price. 5 Gallant men are down.
They launched…But they never returned.
THE BOYS FOUGHT LIKE TIGERS…… MAY GOD BLESS THEIR SOUL
Move had been seen ahead of the fence 3 days back…. Based on visuals from UAV, two squads of 4 Para staged forward to the nearest Bn HQ by air as Bn still winter cut off….
One squad, following the footsteps on the snow failed to realise that they were on a cornice…. It broke…. They fell into the nallah….
As luck would have it, where they fell, the militants were sitting right there…. Led to a firefight / CQB (Close quarter battle) at virtually Pt Blank range.
Gotta give it to the training standards of the SF guy, inspite of the fall, all five militants killed.
The complete squad, five in all, were martyred. The mortal remains of the soldiers and the militants were found within 2-3 mtrs of each other.
God Bless the brave souls…
AJAY AMAR SHOORVEER