BALANGIR: Once a soldier, always a soldier, goes the adage. Chandra Boe, a Special Security Battalion jawan posted at the Turekela police station in the Maoist-prone Balangir district, proves it right every day.
An exchange of fire with the Maoists in 2017 left him partially handicapped for life, yet, Chandra continues to stand tall in the harshest of conditions and contribute his mite towards keeping the district safe from the Red rebels.
The 35-year-old jawan is currently deployed in the intelligence wing and collects information on Maoist camps and movement in the district.
Despite the excruciating pain due to femoral nerve injury, Chandra covers a distance of 50 km every day to gather intelligence.
What helps him in the task is his strong network and support from locals.
Chandra along with his team members was combing in the Mahakhanda reserve forest here on December 5, 2017, when they came across a group of Maoists and an exchange of fire ensued.
He suffered a bullet injury in his waist.
The jawan was airlifted to a hospital in Visakhapatnam where he was detected with a severe femoral nerve injury. After two surgeries, he survived but the injury left him partially handicapped.
According to his medical report, the bullet injured Chandra’s pelvis, femoral artery and left him 35 per cent disabled.
He has been unable to walk properly after the incident, but a steely resolve to fight back has helped him join work almost immediately after recovery. He, though, continues to suffer from agonising pain while walking for long distances.
“During our training, we were told ‘muskil waqt, commando shakt’ (when the going gets tough, a commando gets going). This has been my mantra ever since I joined the force. Duty always comes first”, said Chandra, who has earned a lot of appreciation from his seniors for his dedication towards work.
During the lockdown, the jawan helped the Turekela police organise food camps for the poor and migrants for two months.
Balangir SP Madkar Sandeep Sampad said jawans like Chandra are assets for the force. “For people like him, the motherland is above everything”, he said