Proud of my father, says martyred CRPF soldier’s daughter

Prasanna Kumar Sahoo spent around two months with his family in Pariskihara village of Odisha’s coastal Jagatsinghpur district before joining his CRPF battalion in Jammu and Kashmir earlier in February.

He was martyred on Thursday afternoon as his bus, one of 78 vehicles in which more than 2,000 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were travelling, was attacked by a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber in Pulwama district.

He is survived by his wife Meena, 18-year-old daughter Rosy and 16-year-old son Jagan. Both his children are in college.

Rosy said she is proud of her father’s martyrdom.

“I am overwhelmed with grief over losing my father. At the same time I am proud that my father laid down his life for the country,” Rosy said as he cried.

Sahoo had joined CRPF in 1995 and was attached to the 61st battalion of the force.

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik spoke to Sahoo’s wife and consoled her saying, the state government is with her. He also took to Twitter to express his condolence to the families of the two CRPF soldiers from the state who were killed in the suicide attack in Pulwama’s Awantipora area.

“I am deeply saddened over the heart-wrenching martyrdom of two Odia CRPF jawans Prasanna Kumar Sahoo and Manoj Kumar Behera in the dastardly Pulwama terror attack. I convey my heartfelt condolences to the bereft family members and pray for the departed souls to Rest in Peace,” he tweeted in Odia.

Patnaik also announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each for the family of the two soldiers.

Manoj Behera, a resident of Cuttack district, was the other CRPF soldier killed in the bombing, which was claimed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad.