Thiruvananthapuram: The first question of the family and friends of every soldier through phone after the Pulwama terror attack was ‘Are you safe?’. CRPF soldier Vinod, a native of Pothencode in Thiruvananthapuram, has one firm answer to this question. ‘I’m not safe, but you are. It is a promise from every soldier who bears the Ashoka Chakra on head and gun in hand,’ he replied to them.
Vinod had a narrow escape from the terror attack occurred in Pulwama in which over 40 of his colleagues were killed as he was in the truck behind the one that was blasted. When he was about to get into the vehicle which was blasted in the attack, his friend Amarindar Singh asked him to come in the next truck. Thus he was saved from the disaster and for the same reason he hates the questions about his safety also, he told Mathrubhumi.
Amarindar Singh from Punjab was a close friend of Vinod and both were together since the training camp. They stayed in the same room even on the previous day of the attack. Vinod still remembers seeing Amarindar waving his hand to him from the back seat of the vehicle. The next moment it turned into a pile of mangled iron.
Vinod did not visit Amarindar’s home in Gurdaspur because he was unable to watch his parents and younger sister lamenting over his death. He recollected the good old days of friendship with Amarindar and his pleasant nature.
“I hate the question ‘Are you safe?'. The same question is asked to every soldier after a news of attack is out. I’m not safe here. My life is not secure until I could chop the wings of the terrorist hawks who hover around my country. I’m not scared. Asking a soldier if he is scared is equal to killing him,” Vinod told his friends when they asked the same question.
Vinod and his colleagues are still on duty in Pulwama. He gives the same reply filled with bravery and patriotism to all who inquire about his safety.