PATNA: When CRPF Inspector Pintu Kumar Singh bid adieu to IG S Raveendran in Kolkata, his last words “Phir milenge sir, Jai Hind!” with a crisp salute still haunt him.
Pintu Kumar, the CRPF officer, a resident of Dhanchakki village in Begusarai was martyred on March 01, in an encounter between security forces and militants at Babagund village of Langate, Handwara in the district Kupwara.
According to Economic Times reports, Raveendran met Pintu Singh in Kolkata when he has brought about 15 Kahmiri teenagers, aged between 17 and 19 years, to Kolkata on a three-day tour called Bharat Darshan outreach programme organised by CRPF.
“Pintu was chosen to lead the youth team as he was very popular amongst the local populace,” reminisces Raveendran. “His PR and networking with locals was stupendous.”
With his well-mannered and polite nature and attributes, Singh, who was 35, had allowed himself to easily connect with people from troubled areas.
His officers say Singh was brave heart of his battalion and always exhibited utmost courage and as valiant leader, he had won the minds and hearts of the youths of Handwara.
Despite being aware of the simmering tensions post Pulwama, he advocated for the Kashmiri youths from several districts such as Kupwara, Shopian, Sopore and Baramullah to take part in the programme and single-handedly managed the team from Kupwara to Kolkata and back.
During his four-day stay in Kolkata, he could have easily gone and visited his family in Bihar but refused to leave the team even for a day.
“He wanted to move on keeping Pulwama behind. He always said that Kashmiris were never at fault, their circumstances were,” another CRPF officer said, requesting anonymity.
During the March 1 encounter, according to CRPF sources, Singh decided to go on his own to check the house as firing stopped. But the militant presumed to be dead took the security personnel by surprise by emerging from the rubble of a house and opened fire.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday announced Rs 25 lakh ex-gratia to the “nearest dependent” of the slain CRPF officer from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
“Today, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced Rs 25 lakh to the nearest dependent of the martyred Pintu Kumar Singh from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund,” said the release.
The Bihar government has already given Rs 11 lakh to the “nearest dependent” of the deceased CRPF Inspector.