Prasun Tewari always dreamt of serving the Indian Army and idolized his father, Dinesh who he saw fighting many wars and engage in different operations to safeguard the country from external and internal enemies. Dinesh joined the army as a foot soldier and gradually been promoted to a JCO when he left his uniform. They accompanied him on various locational postings throughout the country and when he was sent to hazardous terrains they stayed back in accommodations provided in army barracks in peace stations. As normal army children he and his brother, Rajesh studied in different central schools in the country run by the government especially for the children belonging to the defense sector.
Prasun excelled in studies .Although he had many friends in school he found books to be his best companion. Five foot five inches tall and fair complexioned he was generally found haunting campus libraries rather than sports fields. Whereas Rajesh wasn’t as meritorious as him and became popular as a good sportsman who captained his school team in soccer. He resembled his father, tall, athletic and agile while Prasun his mother.
As expected Prasun passed his CBSE board exams with flying colours topping his school which sent a riot of celebrations in his family and his unit. To fulfil his dreams of serving the country he joined AFMC, Pune to become a serving doctor. For the first time in life he felt exuberant and proud. His four years in college was a smooth transition which satiated his quest for knowledge but brought in a renewed urge to know beyond. Thereafter, his tenure in Lucknow as part of the training program needed him to undergo an extensive physical drill and wasn’t as amusing for him as his studies but he scrapped through the ordeal with grace. His parents were present during his convocation where he was conferred a graduate degree in medicine and subsequently commissioned as a officer in the army. Dinesh wiped away overwhelming tears of joy when he witnessed his son walking up the dais to receive his certificate. Prasun never thought his life would turn so bright . He could now make his father enjoy all the benefits that he was once deprived of and live life larger and with dignity.
He was first posted to Guwahati in Assam. Guwahati, situated on the banks of the voluminous river Brahmaputra is the most prominent and picturesque city in Assam. With great hope and an eager anticipation to work he reached the city. The Bodo agitation was at its peak then. They were a terrorist and a separatist outfit who were out to seek a sovereign Bodoland in Assam. And to add to the prevalent chaos there were also the ULFA , another terrorist organization. In order to realize their demands they were killing innocent people; which included kidnapping and killing tea garden managers, businessmen and attacking army officials.
After spending 10 days in Guwahati his unit was sent on a combing operation to Kokrajhar where the Bodos infiltrated the Manas forests and were killing innocent villagers and civilians. The jawans (foot soldiers) and officers went ahead while as a medical officer of the unit he was to follow later in his ambulance. On the day he started off to Kokrajhar he stopped at Rangiya , a transit point where an artillery brigade was stationed. It was around 12 O’clock and he thought of having lunch in the Officers Mess there. But as a courtesy he went to call upon the medical officer of the brigade. The medical officer there was Akash, a jovial and friendly Bengali. He was there with his family and invited him for lunch at his quarter. During lunch they talked about the prevailing conditions in Assam and also about their families. It was 2 O’clock when he bid adieu as it was a long drive to Kokrajhar where his unit put up. It would get dark and he would be treading a dangerous zone infested with terrorists. So he along with his driver and helper set off. He sat beside the driver while his helper took a back seat inside the small army ambulance.
It was around 4.30 p.m when they infringed on the jungles of Manas. It was quiet and the roads bumpy. There was a foreboding gloom. They had been inside the jungles for 15 minutes when they suddenly heard sounds of trampling and rustling of leaves and quick footsteps. Before they could realize what was happening the terrorists ambushed the ambulance and open fired at them. One of the bullet shots hit the helper at the back seat and he was spot dead. Another caught Prasun in his shoulder. He grumbled in pain and ducked inside his seat while the driver drove off as fast as he could. Excruciating pain didn’t stop him from bringing out his gun and firing back at them from his position. When the driver at last reached their unit Prasun had shed a lot of blood, was unconscious and couldn’t be saved. He died a heroic death on his first assignment.
There are many real life stories of courageous soldiers who died a martyr while fighting battles for their country. They have risked their lives to keep us safe. Their contributions are unforgettable and infinite and they shine like a star.