It was just another working day in 1999 when LeT terrorists stormed into Major Pramod Purushottam’s room in a hail of gunfire, killing the Army officer and five members of his team in what was the first and only fidayeen attack at the fortified Badami Bagh cantonment here.
Twenty-one years to the day, as the Army paid tribute to its six men on Tuesday, there were many who doffed their hat to the bravery of the quick thinking officer – the Public Relations Officer (Defence) saved the lives of three Kashmiri journalists who had come to meet him that fateful evening by pushing them and a personnel into a washroom minutes before two armed Lashkar-e-Taiba men barged in.
“Having been engaged in a hand to hand fight with the terrorists, he and his colleagues made the supreme sacrifice of their lives while trying to save media persons,” a statement from the Army said.
The selfless act of bravery by the late officer and his team — Subedar Brahm Dass, Havaldar PK Maharana, Sepoys Choudhary Ramji Bhai, Md Razaul Haque and C Radhakrishnan – was remembered at a solemn and poignant ceremony at the cantonment.
Defence spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia and his team paid floral tributes to the officer and others.
Additional Director General (Media and Communication) A Bharat Bhushan Babu also paid rich tributes to the brave soldiers who had made a supreme sacrifice in the line of duty.
“We will always draw inspiration from the heroic deeds of the bravehearts,” he said and called upon all ranks to always keep ”Nation First”.