Fallen Major’s wife Nitika Kaul dons Army uniform

at 6:32 pm
Stars being pipped on shoulders of Lt Nitika Kaul by Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Y K Joshi in Chennai today.

New Delhi (NVI) It may seem to be a plot from some Bollywood movie, but it is real.

More than two years after her Army officer husband lost his life while fighting terrorists in Kashmir, 27-year-old Nitika Kaul today donned the Olive Green uniform as to pay tribute to the martyr.

Lieutenant Nitika Kaul, who hails from Kashmir, is the wife of late Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal, who was among five security forces personnel killed in a fierce encounter with three terrorists of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) outfit, including two top commanders, in Pulwama district of Kashmir in February 2019.

The gunfight took place just days after a JeM suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into a CRPF convoy on Srinagar-Jammu national highway in Pulwama on February 14, killing 40 personnel in a gruesome manner.

The terrorists killed in the encounter in which Major Dhoundiyal was martyred were believed to be involved in the attack on CRPF convoy and he was awarded Shaurya Chakra posthumously for the supreme sacrifice.

Nitika, Major Dhoundiyal’s wife of just 9 months, refused to take it as a setback in life and decided to join the Army as a befitting tribute to her husband.

Nitika, who worked in a multinational company at that time, applied for Short Service Commission (SSC) just six months after her husband’s martyrdom and cleared the written exam as well as interview last year and soon got commissioned at Officers Training Academy (OTA) at Chennai for training.

Today, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Y K Joshi flew to Chennai to pip the stars on her shoulders and celebrate the proud moment.

Hailing the moment, Udhampur-based Northern Army Command tweeted, “#MajVibhutiShankarDhoundiyal, made the Supreme Sacrifice at #Pulwama in 2019, was awarded SC (P). Today his wife @Nitikakaul dons #IndianArmy uniform; paying him a befitting tribute. A proud moment for her as Lt Gen Y K Joshi, #ArmyCdrNC himself pips the Stars on her shoulders!”

The new Army officer said this was her way of paying a “real tribute” to her husband and feel close to him.

It was not easy to get back to normal life after her husband’s death at his prime age.

“I drowned myself in work, hoping the pain will ease…I went back to work around 15 days after my husband’s death because I wanted to keep myself busy,” she said, adding “It is natural to have a breakdown but we needed to accept the situation. I had to find positivity in my daily routine and stand up on my feet once again.”

Looking back, she said, “I took my own time to recover from the major loss and the decision to sit for the Short Service Commission examination happened gradually. Just filling the form in September last year was a big decision. But I had decided that I want to walk on a similar path like my husband.”