‘He had always wanted to die a hero’s death’

The tiny village of Ganeshpur turned out in full strength to bid adieu to its hero, Havaldar Gajendra Singh Bisht (36), the National Security Guards (NSG) commando who died fighting terrorists in Mumbai.

Havaldar Gajendra's mortal remains were consigned to the flames with full military honours on Saturday afternoon with more than a thousand people from Ganeshpur and its adjoining villages participating in the funeral.

"He had always wanted to be in the forces and had always wanted to die like a hero. And that is precisely what happened," said his brother, Birender Singh Bisht, an official in the Uttarakhand Police. Amongst those present to pay their respects to the martyr was his teacher from Janata Inter College in Naya Gaon Subhash Chand Jasola. "He had studied in the college from 1980 to 1990. I cannot forget his interest in sports, particularly boxing. He was a disciplined student and participated in every event organised in the school, be it sports or cultural activities," said Jasola, who teaches English at the college. He said that Havaldar Gajendra is the third student from the college to have died for the country in military operations. Earlier, two of his former students had died during the Kargil operations. Havaldar Gajendra had also participated in the Kargil operations.

The college was shut for the day in honour of Havaldar Gajendra's sacrifice and the entire staff and students had turned up for his funeral.

"I met him last in August when our father Late Daulat Singh had died. Thereafter, we had been in touch on phone," said his brother. He said Gajendra joined the Garhwal Rifles in 1991 and then chose to be part of the 10 Para (Special Force). Thereafter, he had opted to be a NSG commando. He was based in Delhi when he was asked to be part of Mumbai operation.

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