Subedar Madan Lal Choudhary, 50 made the ultimate sacrifice while fighting terrorists Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists who attacked the Sunjuwan Army camp in Jammu and Kashmir. He took on the terrorists with his bare hands and took bullets in his chest and arms before laying down his life.
Choudhary eventually fell to the AK 47 bullets fired by the terrorists, who attacked his quarter at Sunjuwan Army station in Jammu, but still foiled their plan to cause maximum damage.
A pall of gloom descended on this non-descript hamlet after the news of Madan Lal Choudhary's death reached here.
Yet, the people of the border belt of Hiranagar in Kathua district are proud of the brave son of soil who took on armed intruders with bare hands and saved his family and kin.
Madan Lal Choudhary's family had come to his quarter at the Military Station, Sunjuwan, as they needed to shop for the wedding of a relative.
"He mustered a lot of courage and saved the life of other family members by not allowing the terrorists to enter his quarter," his brother Surinder Choudhary said.
Surinder Choudhary said his brother managed to facilitate the exit of family members from the rear of the house as he blocked the entry of terrorists.
However, Madan Lal Choudhary's 20-year-old daughter Neha received a bullet injury in the leg while his sister-in-law Paramjeet also received minor injuries. But all of them managed to survive.
"I am proud of my younger brother who braved bullets, fought heavily armed terrorists with bare hands to save family members and kin. Had he failed to save them, the entire family would have been wiped out. He foiled the terrorists' plan to cause maximum causalities," Surinder Choudhary said.
Madan Lal Choudhary, who rose to the post of a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) - a Subedar - belonged to a family of defence force personnel.
His elder brother Shamsher Singh is an ex-serviceman, his son Ankush a Captain in the Indian Army, and his nephew Sandeep is in the Indian Air Force.
He is survived by father Inder Chand and mother Banti Devi besides three brothers.
The elderly parents father and mother were unaware about their loss till Saturday evening even as the people and relatives thronged their residence.
It was only when Madan Lal Choudhary's wife Karamjeet and his elder brother Shamsher reached home, that they were told about the news of his death.
People of the village, who witnessed the terror of partition in 1947 and are refugees from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), were proud of Madan Lal Choudhary's sacrifice.
"We are proud of him. He has fought armed terrorists with bare hands and save all of the family members and some kin. He should be awarded," Dhyan Chand, a villager, said.
Family members, however, lament that at a time they were preparing for the marriage of his nephew Sandeep in April, they are forced to come to grips with this painful reality.