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Fallen jawan`s wife turns lieutenant

PTI | Last Updated: Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 17:09

Chennai: Scripting history, 26-year-old Priya Semwal, who lost her husband in a counter-insurgency operation two years back, was on Saturday inducted into the technical wing of the armed force as a young officer.

From a college-going woman married to an Army jawan in 2006 to an officer commissioned into the Corps of the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME) of Army today, Semwal`s life has come a full circle.

Semwal is one of the 62 women, besides 194 men, who were commissioned into the Indian Army as short service officers at the ceremonial passing out parade at the Officers Training Academy here.

The mother of the then four-year-old Khwahish Sharma, Semwal`s future looked bleak when she heard the death of her husband Naik Amit Sharma serving with the 14 Rajput regiment in a counter-insurgency operation near hilly Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh in 2012.

"Her husband was serving in my unit. In that operation, he lost his life while others suffered injuries. When I learnt Amit had encouraged her to complete degree and then PG, I thought she should become an officer," said Colonel Arun Agarwal, Commanding Officer, 14 Rajput Regiment.

Agarwal`s word of advice, however, was not received readily.

"Her brother initially asked what was I saying? She just lost her husband and how can I ask them now. But, eventually they all agreed," said the Colonel, who came all the way from the border to witness Semwal become an officer.
"She (Priya Semwal) was qualified and I felt that she will do it. Initially, she had some apprehensions but once she was convinced, there was no turning back. Probably, this is the first time an Army jawan`s wife has become an officer in India," the Colonel said.

There might be instances where wives of Army officers would have joined the force after their death, but this is probably the first time, the wife of a Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) has become an officer, he pointed out.

First Published: Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 17:09
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