A disconsolate Shimu Devi was waiting to receive the mortal remains of her husband, Lance Naik Ranjit Singh, on Monday when she went into labour.
The mortal remains of Lance Naik Ranjeet Kumar, who along with two other colleagues was martyred by Pakistan army near the Line of Control (LoC) in Khour on Sunday, have reached his native village Suligam in district Ramban for last journey while the mortal remains of Havaldar Kaushal Kumar and Rifleman Rajat Kumar were cremated with full Military honours at their natives villages in Nowshera and Pallanwalla this evening.
She was rushed to the Ramban District Hospital. She delivered a baby girl the following morning at 5 am, even as her husband’s body lay at home, the family waiting for daybreak to begin preparations for the last rites.
Ranjit Singh was killed in an ambush along the LoC in Sunderbani sector, Jammu and Kashmir, on October 21 in which two more soldiers died too. The couple had been looking forward to parenthood after 10 years of marriage. Ranjit Singh was to visit his home this week.
“Shimu Devi conceived after undergoing numerous medical tests. The entire family, especially Ranjit Singh, was elated and there was cheer all around,” said a family member, shocked at the tragic turn of events. “Fate has played a cruel joke,” he murmured.
Stony-faced, Shimu Devi was in hospital tending to her newborn when Ranjit Singh’s body was cremated on the banks of the Chenab at noon with military honours.
One of the local residents, known to the family of the martyr said that the soldier waited for 8 years for the birth of his first child but destiny had something else in store for him. “I wish Ranjeet could have been alive to see these happy moments”, he said while feeling proud on the martyrdom of the Lance Naik. “The entire village is in deep mourning but the arrival of the child is expected to help the family to overcome the grief”, he asserted.