‘I want to visit place where my husband fought bravely’

Mahar Regiment's sepoy Anusuya Prasad's widow spent only about a week with him after their marriage

Sepoy Anusuya Prasad was a young jawan in Mahar Regiment in the Indian Army. His unit was given the task of capturing an enemy position on the Eastern Front during the 1971 War of Liberation of Bangladesh.

Prasad, who volunteered for the single-man suicide squad mission was shot in both the legs just while advancing stealthily towards the enemy position holding a few phosphorous grenades. Undeterred, he crawled up to the enemy position and neutralised it before succumbing to his wounds, reads the citation for Sepoy Anusuya Prasad's Mahavir Chakra.

Tears roll down the eyes of Chitra Devi (55), Prasad's widow, as she looks at the Mahavir Chakra that was awarded posthumously to her husband, with whom she stayed for only about a week never to see him again. And while suffering has yet not ended, what seems to have been the elixir of life for the then young, 13-year-old widow are the stories of bravery of her husband that have now become a part of the regimental history. A parade ground at Sagar has been named after her husband and a statue of his has been installed in front of the unit that is today famous as Anusuya Prasad Battalion.

Forty years later, the woman has a dream — of visiting the location where her husband breathed his last.

"I was merely around 13 when I got married. I remember that my husband (Sepoy Prasad) had come down during a break from the training for collecting some documents — that is when we got married. Five days and he went back for training and went straight to the battlefield. What I received was a telegram, saying my husband was dead. I could not even read the telegram, forget understanding the severity of it," said Chitra Devi who, in March 1963 went to Delhi to receive the MVC by then President V V Giri.

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