There are many stories in the Indian army that touch our heart and move us to the core. One such true incident is of Capt Vijyant Thapar, Vir Chakra(Posthumous) who family members fondly call as Robin.
Lt. Vijayant Thapar was conferred the rank of Captain after his supreme sacrifice during the capture of area Knoll in Drass Sector. Vijyant was a benevolent soul and it showed with his actions. Vijyant was commissioned in the Indian Army on 12th December, 1998. His battalion, the 2nd Battalion, Rajputana Rifles which was stationed at Gwalior soon moved to Kupwara, Kashmir.
Militancy and terrorists from other side of the border was common those days. A young girl, just 6-years old, called Rukhsana, her father, Mohammad Akbar was brutally murdered by Sarafi terrorists(militants funded from foreign mercenaries) in front of her eyes and young Rukhsana was shell shocked. She could not react, she could not speak and she stopped doing anything else.
Capt. Vijyant Thapar’s battalion was moved into her school in Kandi village in North Kashmir. Vijyant spoke to the principal of the school and got to know how some terrorists killed Rukhsana’s father and met Rukhsana. Initially, Rukhsana will not speak and had lost her vocal powers due to tragedy. It took lot of efforts of Vijyant and his faithful Sahayak, Sepoy Jagmal Singh Shekhawat for making things normal for Rukhsana.
He used to steal time from his busy schedule and visit Rukhsana, and take sweets and toffees for her. Gradually, their bond became stronger and trust was developed among them.
Due to Capt. Thapar’s constant efforts, Rukhsana started speaking again and became chirpy. He took care of her like his own child. Captain used to contribute a small amount of money each month to the girl’s poor family towards her education and he cared deeply for the young child.
Soon after, the Kargil war happened and Capt Vijyant Thapar’s task was to capture Knoll feature in Drass sub-sector.
In his last letter addressed to his parents which he wrote minutes before going on his ‘last’ operation, probably on premonition, he wrote about Rukhsana to his parents. “Contribute some money to an orphanage and keep sending some money to Ruksana every month.” He also described his beautiful relationship with Rukhsana to his mother. The parents
Since now, 18 years have been passed, according to a report in Hindu which came seven years back, said that Capt. Vijyant Thapar might have sacrificed his life, he is still alive for Rukhsana. Rukhsana has gone into IX standard and her education his taken care by Col. V N Thapar and she has grown up to be a very bright student who can speak in English, Hindi and Urdu. She still misses the time when she played with Robin in her school and the man who gave her chocolates.
“We met her [Rukhsana] for the first time in 10 years, just two months ago. She is a very pretty girl and [is] studying at a government school. She can read and write and speak English, Kashmiri and Urdu,” Col V N Thapar was quoted as saying to the Hindu.
The old parents felt that their son is living in the eyes, heart and mind of Rukhsana. They gave her a mobile phone to stay in touch with her.
Such is a story of a brave soldier who fought for all of us at Kargil and even at the last moment, he kept caring of the little girl. Even a thousand Salutes will be not enough for such a brave and kind soul.