A gun battle in Jammu & Kashmir’s Handwara resulted in the unfortunate demise of 4 armymen and a police sub-inspector yesterday.

One of them was Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, the commanding officer of the 21 Rashtriya Rifles who had served the nation for more than 2 decades.

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In a heartbreaking interview, his elder brother Piyush Sharma told Hindustan Times about colonel’s final visit home on Holi last year:

He came unannounced around 7:30 PM on the day holika is burnt and gave us a pleasant surprise. We had a blast the next day.

The last conversation between the family and Colonel Sharma happened on May 1, when he told them that his unit was not able to celebrate the raising day 21 RR due to the ongoing pandemic.

Piyush added that his brother, father of a 12-year-old, was very ‘passionate about the Army’. 

He was a brave soldier. He talked, dreamt and lived the Army. He took pride in sharing glory of his unit (19 Guards Mechanised Infantry) and its traditions.

Colonel Sharma, who is originally from UP won the sena medal twice, in 2018 and 2019.