Following in the footsteps of her husband Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal, who laid down his life in Pulwama, Nitika Kaul on Saturday donned the Army uniform with commander of the Army's northern command Lt Gen Y K Joshi piping stars on her shoulders at a ceremony held at the Officers Training Academy in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
Army Major Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal martyred in the February 2019 encounter with JeM terrorists in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir. She officially joined the Indian Army as Lieutenant Nitika Kaul Dhoundiyal.
The PRO Udhampur, Ministry of Defence shared the brief video on its official Twitter handle, drawing spontaneous praises for Kaul and the Army.
“#MajVibhutiShankarDhoundiyal, made the Supreme Sacrifice at #Pulwama in 2019, was awarded SC (P). Today his wife @Nitikakaul dons #IndianArmy uniform; paying him a befitting tribute. A proud moment for her as Lt Gen Y K Joshi, #ArmyCdrNC himself pips the Stars on her shoulders!,” the PRO Udhampur wrote on twitter.
“You know why this is important because the Army never leaves its families alone even if the soldier is not there. For him to be there and support a veer nari who was married to a brother officer & now adorns the uniform herself, speaks volume about the Army Values & Code of conduct,” a netizen Swapnil Pandey, who was among thousands who viewed the tweet, said.
Several others also praised Kaul and one of them wrote “…what a befitting tribute to the late husband. Truly inspirational story.”
Major Dhoundiyal laid down his life fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama and was awarded Shaurya Chakra (posthumously) for his sacrifice for the nation.
Six months after the death of her husband, Nitika cleared the Short Service Commission (SSC) exam and the Services Selection Board (SSB) interview and was commissioned at Officers Training Academy (OTA) at Chennai for her training.
Major Dhoundiyal, the resident of Dehradun, was among four Army men who were killed in the encounter with JeM terrorists in Pulwama district. They killed--JeM commander Kamran--the mastermind of February 14 terror attack on CRPF convoy in which 40 jawans were killed.
Praising the Major for sacrificing his life for the nation and the people he had never met, Nitika had said: "I am really proud. We all love you. The way you love everyone is entirely different because you sacrificed your life for the people who you may have never met, but still you decided to give your life for them."
"You are such a brave man. I am very honoured to have you as my husband. I'll love you till my last breath. I owe my life to you. Yes, it's hurting that you're leaving but I know you will always be around", she had said.