‘Not going to die an ordinary death’: Widow of soldier killed in Siachen fire shares heartbreaking story

New Delhi, July 2023 – On a cold, unforgiving night in Siachen, a short circuit triggered a devastating fire at an Indian Army ammunition dump. Amidst the chaos, a young and brave Army doctor, Captain Angshuman Singh, only 23 years old, displayed unparalleled courage as he rescued several soldiers. Tragically, Captain Singh succumbed to severe burns, sacrificing his life for others. His story is a testament to heroism, love, and the indomitable spirit of a soldier.

Captain Singh had been married to Smriti for just five months before the incident. Their love story, however, spanned much longer. On a recent Friday, Smriti walked with grace and dignity, clad in a white saree, to receive the Kirti Chakra, India’s second-highest peacetime gallantry award, from President Droupadi Murmu. Her serene yet brave demeanor quickly garnered attention, with videos of her going viral on social media.

In a heart-wrenching video shared by Bharat Bhushan Babu, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence, Smriti recounted her love story with Captain Singh. “It was love at first sight,” she reminisced. “He would tell me — I would die with the brass on my chest. I am not going to die an ordinary death.”

Their journey began on the first day of college. Smriti fondly recalled their instant connection, saying, “I don’t want to be dramatic but it was love at first sight.” Shortly after, Captain Singh was selected into the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), marking the beginning of a long-distance relationship that lasted eight years. “We met at an engineering college but then he got selected in a medical college. Super intelligent guy,” Smriti shared. Despite the challenges, their love persevered, leading them to marriage.

Just two months after their wedding, Captain Singh was posted in Siachen, a region known for its extreme conditions and strategic significance. Smriti recounted the last conversation they had on July 18, where they dreamt about their future together, planning a house and children. The very next morning, she received the heart-shattering news of his demise. “For the first 7-8 hours, we could not accept that anything like this could have happened. Till date, I am trying to cope … thinking maybe it is not true,” she said.

As she held the Kirti Chakra in her hand, the reality of her loss sank in. Yet, amidst her grief, Smriti found solace in her husband’s heroism. “He gave up his life and family so that the other three families could be saved,” she expressed with a mix of pride and sorrow.

President Murmu, in a post on X, honored Captain Singh’s bravery: “Disregarding his own safety, he exhibited exceptional bravery and resolve to rescue many people in a major fire incident.” The award ceremony was a poignant moment as Smriti and Captain Singh’s mother received the honor on his behalf, marking a bittersweet recognition of his sacrifice.

Captain Angshuman Singh’s story is one of extraordinary bravery, love, and sacrifice. It reminds us of the countless soldiers who put their lives on the line, not for fame or glory, but for the safety and well-being of others. Smriti’s strength and resilience in the face of such a profound loss is a testament to the enduring power of love and the unyielding spirit of those left behind.

Their tale will forever inspire us, urging us to remember the real heroes who walk among us, often unnoticed, yet whose sacrifices shape the very fabric of our nation. As Smriti continues to navigate life without her beloved, she carries forward his legacy, reminding us all that true love and bravery transcend even the greatest of tragedies.

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