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Major dies fighting ultras
By Obaid Nasir, Lucknow

Following the glorious tradition set by Brigadier Usman and Havildar Abdul Hameed, another young Muslim from Lucknow laid down his life in defence of the country. Major Sameerul Islam made the supreme sacrifice while fighting ultras in North East on 3 July. He was serving the 17 Para Field Regiment at Silchar in Assam.

35-year-old Major Sameer had received information that ultras were hiding in a house in Halflong area In Cachar distt. Sameer, as battery commander, led his men and cordoned off the area and in the ensuing gun battle with the ultras made the supreme sacrifice and raised the head of his family, community and country with pride. He received gun shot injuries in chest, shoulder and stomach but managed to kill three ultras before collapsing due to heavy bleeding and injury. He was rushed to the nearest army hospital but was declared ‘brought dead’.

Major Sameerul Islam was the son of Mr. Zameerul Islam, a retired chief engineer of irrigation deptment who lives in Gomti Nagar locality in the state capital. A pall of gloom descended on Major Sameer's house when the news of his martyrdom was broken by army officers. At that time Begam Zameerul Islam, the mother of martyr Sameer, was alone as Sameer’s father had gone to Basti and his wife Fauzia with their children Yusuf (5) and Saher (3) were in Faizabad with her parents. Sameer was the youngest son of Zameerul Islam. His sister is settled in Jeddah and elder brother is working in Chandigarh.

According to the martyr’s uncle, Dr. MK Pasha, Major Sameer joined army on his own. He last visited Lucknow in March and was again to visit on 18 July but on 5 July his dead body reached Lucknow instead. At Amausi airport it was received by top military, civil and police officers besides family members and admirers. The state government was represented by Lalji Tandon, the urban development minister, and Ms Sheema Rizvi, minister of state for medical education. From airport it was brough to the military hospital and then to his residence. Chief Minister Rajnath Singh with excise minister Surya Pratap Sahi reached the residence and consoled the bereaved family. Governor Vishnu Kant Shastri, almost all state ministers, Lucknow Mayor Dr. SC Rai, Commissioner Saurabh Chandra,Distt magistrate Jeevesh Nandan DIG Sulkhan Singh and SSP BB Bakshi and thousands of people irrespective of caste and religion joined the last journey. All Muslim organisations including Sunni Youth Federation, All India Muslim Forum, Rahman Foundation, Muslim Samaj, etc. were represented by their respective leaders. Shia Aalim Maulana Kalbe Jawwad with many Shia youth remained there till last. Maulana Sajjad Nomani, Mr. Salahuddin Abubakr, Haji Musharraf Husain, Ch. Sharfuddin ,Mohd. Aslam Dr. M A Haleem, MK Shervani, Salahuddin Khan etc, visited his house to console the bereaved family and joined the last journey funeral procession.

On 5 July after Zuhar prayers the funeral procession started from martyred Major’s residence. His body was covered in the tricolour and was escorted by army officers and jawans of the 24th battalion of Punjab regiment and 17th Para Field Regiment . After funeral prayers the last post was sounded and a volley of 21 gunshots were fired as a salute to the brave son of the country and community.

Major Sameerul Islam by his supreme sacrifice has made his family and community proud. Bereaved father Zameer could not hide his sentiments when he said one more ‘ISI agent’ has laid down his life for the motherland and will continue to present same supreme sacrifice when and where needed.

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