Know Your Enemy
What Lance Naik Govind Singh can teach Shiv Sena about fighting Pakistan
The sainiks appear to be occupied trying to honour its brave ink-throwers instead.
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On Tuesday, right about the time Lance Naik Govind Singh, a special forces commando with the Army's elite 9 Parachute Regiment was getting set for an evening mission at the Krishna Ghati sector on the Line of Control in Poonch, Jammu and Kashmir, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut made an appeal in faraway Mumbai: "Like Army soldiers, Sena karyakartas should get honours for fighting Pakistanis."
Lance Naik Govind's mission was simple. There were inputs of Pakistan-based terrorists planning to infiltrate across the LoC in the Balnoi area. Govind and the other men of the 9 Para got busy planning a series of at least six ambushes, bolstered by a larger area-domination patrol by smaller units. As Lance Naik Govind stepped out in darkness that night, Shiv Sena leaders, egged on by Mr Raut, wagged their fingers at TV cameras and suggested that anyone who regarded Shiv Sainiks as anything less than Army soldiers would face consequences.Lance Naik Govind Singh.
The patrol continued into the night, with periodic checks with the ambush sites, one of them manned and led by Lance Naik Govind. At 3.30am on Wednesday, well before dawn, Govind's team spotted movement. The commando-trained infiltrators fired first, sparking a frenzied gunfight in the darkness of Balnoi. As Govind and his comrades attempted to hit the Pakistani terrorists, three rounds tore through Govind. He spent the night with three holes in his body. Rapidly airlifted out of the gunfight zone, Lance Naik Govind was already dead by sunrise. His Army-trained body fought three grievous bullet injuries for hours, until he couldn't hold on any longer.
Given the Shiv Sena appears justifiably occupied trying to honour its brave ink-throwers, the true guardians of India against the Pakistani threat, allow me to end by introducing Govind, only the latest unknown soldier the Sena (and, yes, every other party) has not a moment for. Lance Naik Govind fought Pakistani terrorists for a living. He was from Pittoragarh in Uttarakhand. He leaves behind a wife and two children. And he asked for nothing.