‘Violence should end’: Assam families mourn jawans killed in Chhattisgarh encounter

"We are proud that he laid down his life for the country. It’s the supreme sacrifice."

Two CRPF soldiers from Assam were among the 20 killed in an encounter with Maoists in Chhattisgarh on Saturday night. Condolences have poured in from all quarters of the state for the two jawans, Dilip Kumar Das and Bablu Rabha.

Das, a resident of the recently carved out Bajali district, is survived by his wife, two daughters (11 and 3 years old), parents and three brothers. Rabha, hailing from Goalpara district, leaves behind his wife and seven-year-old daughter, apart from his mother and two brothers.

Das, an inspector with the CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) unit, had joined the force in 2001. Rabha, a constable in the same unit, had joined the force sometime in 2011–12, according to his family.

Das’s brother Bhaskar Das (40) said that the family received the news about his death on Sunday evening. “We had spoken on the phone on April 2. He had said that he was going for an operation and would not be able to talk for a few days. That was the last time I spoke to him,” Bhaskar said.

Das visited home for six days in mid March and then left for Chhattisgarh on assignment for three months. “This violence should end,” Bhaskar said. “How long will it continue taking lives?”

Rabha last came home to meet his family in November 2020. He spoke to his wife and mother regularly on the phone. He was interested in the defence forces since childhood, his elder brother Rajib Rabha (36) said.

“He had been selected in both the Indian Army and the CRPF. I had even suggested that he join the Army but he chose the CRPF. He was very adamant that way — always did what he wanted to. And he loved his country,” said Rabha, who works as a small time contractor. Rabha added that his brother has served in Meghalaya and Karnataka, too.

“We are proud that he laid down his life for the country. It’s the supreme sacrifice. He has shown the youth of the country a path of courage and sacrifice. We as a family will take care of his wife and daughter,” said Rabha.

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