CRPF personnel’s widow wants dialogue between India and Pakistan, not war

The widow of killed CRPF personnel Bablu Santra Thursday asked both India and Pakistan to hold talks rather of heightening tensions.

She also asked the Narendra Modi government to assure the safe release of Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, taken by Pakistan on Wednesday.

Mita Santra, widowed on February 14 in a suicide bomb attack on a CRPF convoy that alleged 40 lives including that of her husband, said she was not worried about blame on social media over her anti-war stand.

“We should give dialogue a chance instead of the war that will lead to loss of so many more lives,” Santra told PTI while promoting the government of India to make all efforts to ensure Varthaman’s return.

“I urge our government to engage with that of Pakistan to get back Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman safely,” she added.

Varthaman was caught following a fierce battle between air forces of the two sides along the Line of Control in which a Pakistani F-16 jet was downed.

The IAF also lost a MiG 21 Bison jet being flown by Varthaman.

Apart from the loss of human lives, war leaves a lasting mark on economic and social front affecting the people of countries involved, Santra said.

It is true that the armed forces will have to go to war and make the ultimate sacrifice, but the Indian government must assure their security, she said.

“I want the security of the forces to be ensured. All the forces, be it the Army or the paramilitary-like CRPF or ITBP, are of the government of India and it is the duty of the government to take necessary measures to ensure their security,” she said.

Santra said she was not worried about social media trolls criticising her stand on the war, adding that if one person has criticised her, ten others appreciated her approach.

Following the death of her husband in the car bomb attack on the CRPF convoy by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pulwama, Santra had said that war should be withdrawn as it will snuff out the lives of many more on both sides of the border, leaving women widowed, mothers without sons and children without fathers.

“After February 14, nothing touches me. Anybody can say anything, I am not worried,” said the mom of a six-year-old girl, who has a masters degree in modern history and teaches in a private school.

Nevertheless, she questioned if those criticising her had a family member working in the armed forces.

“Sitting in their homes, some people are saying so many things, but do they have any of their family members in the Army, Air Force, Navy or paramilitary forces?” she questioned.

Stating that she has been given a compensatory job in the CRPF, Santra said she has not yet determined on taking it as the transferrable job will come in the way of taking care of her aged mother-in-law.

“I want a job in the West Bengal government as was assured by ministers who visited our house following my husband’s death,” she said.

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