New Delhi, Jan 28: He was the youngest and the bravest among three brothers. This is how CRPF commanding officer Y N Rai described his brother Col M N Rai who was killed yesterday in a gun battle with Hizbul Mujahideen militants in Jammu and Kashmir. [Award-winning army officer martyred in Jammu and Kashmir]
Rai, himself a gallantry award winner for repulsing a fidayeen attack on the Raghunath temple in Jammu and Kashmir in 2002, said "uniform" for his brother, him and the eldest Lt Col D N Rai was a passion that ran in the blood.
"Our father N P Rai was the Principal of the Government High School in Kalimpong sub-division of Darjeeling when we were growing up. He was also the senior-most coordinator for NCC activities in the area and hence, I think, all three of us have a passion for the uniform since then," Rai told PTI. He is commanding the 48th battalion of the country's largest paramilitary CRPF in Assam's Dhubri.
The unit is deployed for undertaking anti-insurgency operations in the area. Col Munindra Nath Rai, 39, Commanding Officer of 42 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), who had only on Monday won a military medal, was killed yesterday in a fierce encounter with Hizbul terrorists whom he was battling in Tral in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district.
"Lt Col D N Rai is the eldest amongst us and Col Rai who was martyred yesterday was the youngest. As we both always had a respectful fear for our elder brother we both were very close. The elder brother always had much love for both of us but yes I was fond of him (Col Rai) the most," he said.
"He (Col Rai) was the youngest and the bravest. He made the supreme sacrifice by laying down his life in the line of duty," he said. He added that Col Rai was a go-getter with a daring personality. "He was a passionate Gorkha soldier, always ready for the paltan (unit)," he said.