New Delhi: Had it not been for the raw courage of newly-recruited BSF trooper Rockey, who laid his life fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, the border guarding force would have suffered more injurious in the audacious attack.
The 27-year-old constable of the forces’ 65th Battalion emptied his entire magazine containing about 40 bullets when the two heavily-armed militants attacked a Border Security Force convoy and a dark-green bus which had about 30 force personnel travelling in it in Udhampur.
“Had it not been the raw and daring courage of Rockey, we would have suffered more casualties. He sustained initial bullet injuries but kept on firing till he succumbed,” BSF Director General D K Pathak, who visited the ambush spot, told PTI.
Pathak left the ongoing DG-level talks with his visiting Bangladeshi border guarding counterparts mid-way here to take stock of the situation in Jammu and boost the morale of his men.
A senior force official said Rockey kept engaged both the militants and did not allow them to lob grenades on the bus full of BSF personnel.
The young trooper, a resident of Haryana’s Yamunanagar, kept his tactical firing on as the reinforcement reached the spot only after 20 minutes.
“He was known as the rock force of the unit. He proved that he lived the true meaning of his name like a hero,” the official said. The martyred trooper also provided enough cover for his other colleagues to take position and retaliate. Rockey’s colleague and driver of the bus Shubhenbdu Roy was also killed in the attack where militant punctured the tyres of the bus to immobilise it and then took targets to hit BSF men present inside.
While one militant was killed at the spot, the other was later nabbed. In another terror attack suspected to be originating from Pakistan on the crucial Jammu-Srinagar highway on Thursday claimed the two lives, but one of the two Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists involved was captured alive like Ajmal Kasab in the 2008 Mumbai terror strike.
Meanwhile, the BSF said that the ambush began when one of the militants suddenly appeared on the road and started spraying bullets on the bus which was part of the convoy. The militant targeted the driver, which left him injured, and continued to fire bullets on the bus before attempting to forcefully enter the front door of the vehicle which was tightly held from inside by constable Rai despite heavy firing on him by the militants, the force said.
“Simultaneously, constable Rockey, the lone armed guard of the bus, did not care for his personal safety and effectively engaged in firing under the shower of bullets from the other side,” the force said in a statement.
Rockey retaliated the militant firing from inside the bus and killed a militant on the spot, they said. It is said that the grenade, which was held by the slain militant, blasted outside the vehicle causing splinter injuries to the troops.
“Constable Rockey was profusely bleeding, but he continued to engage the other militants, who had taken position on the adjoining heights along the road and were firing heavily on the stranded bus,” it said.
Meanwhile, the other troops of BSF convoy and a party of CRPF assisted the operations and rescued the injured BSF personnel.
“Due to heavy firing by militants, 15 BSF personnel sustained bullet or splinter injuries out of which constable Rockey and Rai succumbed to their injuries while being taken to hospital. Later, the Village Defence Committee members of the area nabbed the fleeing militant alive,” it said.
The BSF added that the “gallant action by constables Rockey (joined BSF in 2012) and Shubendu Rai (joined in 1999) saved the precious lives of other BSF personnels travelling in the bus.”