Have you taken your meals, CRPF trooper asked in his last phone call
A day before he was killed along with 44 colleagues in a horrific suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir, trooper Bablu Santra telephoned his home in West Bengal and asked his mother if everyone in the family had taken their meals or not.
Santra, 39, also wanted to know if his daughter had boarded the school bus safely, his inconsolable mother, Bonomala Santra, said on Friday.
She told journalists who called on her in West Bengal's Howrah district that Santra joined the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) "for the sake of the family".
"Now we have lost him," the sobbing Santra said.
"He studied hard and sold goods before being selected as a jawan. We had to send him for the sake of earning bread for the family," she added.
The trooper was transferred to Jammu and Kashmir recently and he was to retire in the coming year, his mother said. Earlier, he was posted in Manali in Himachal Pradesh.
The dead man's last telephonic conversation with the family was on Wednesday.
"He asked us if we had taken our meals and if his daughter had boarded the school bus safely," the mother said.
The trooper's wife is so shattered that she refuses to speak to anyone.
West Bengal Co-operation Minister Arup Roy visited the family and promised them assistance from the government.
In the worst ever terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir since militancy erupted in 1989, a suicide bomber on Thursday rammed his SUV packed with explosives into a CRPF bus on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in Pulwama district killing 45 troopers.-IANS