Colonel Viplav Tripathi, who died in Manipur ambush, carried on legacy of freedom fighter grandfather

Colonel Viplav Tripathi was inspired by his freedom fighter grandfather Kishori Mohan Tripathi, who was also a member of the Constituent Assembly

Image courtesy: Twitter
Image courtesy: Twitter
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PTI

Colonel Viplav Tripathi, who was martyred in an ambush set by militants in Manipur on Saturday, was inspired by his freedom fighter grandfather who was also a member of the Constituent Assembly.

Kishori Mohan Tripathi died in 1994 when Viplav was 14. It was his grand-father who inspired Viplav to don the army uniform, his maternal uncle Rajesh Patnaik said.

Colonel Tripathi, the Commanding Officer of Khuga Battalion of Assam Rifles, his wife Anuja (36) and son Abir (5) besides four personnel of the paramilitary force were killed in an ambush by militants in the north-eastern state.

The Tripathi family hails from Raigarh in Chhattisgarh.

Viplav joined the Indian Army with the goal of serving the nation, taking inspiration from his grandfather, a great freedom fighter. His father, a senior journalist, and his mother, a social activist, also encouraged him. He has sacrificed his life while serving for the country. We are proud of him, Patnaik said.

Viplav was attached to Kishori Mohan, and had even visited the Rashtrapati Bhavan with him when Giani Zail Singh was President, he said.

Born on May 30, 1980, Viplav went to the Sainik School Rewa (Madhya Pradesh) after passing class V at a school in Raigarh town. His father, Subhash Tripathi (76) is a senior journalist and editor of the local Hindi daily 'Dainik Bayar' and mother Asha Tripathi is a retired librarian.

After schooling, Viplav got admission to the National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla and then joined the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, Patnaik said.

In 2001, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Kumaon Regiment in Ranikhet. He later passed a command course from the Defence Service Staff College (DSSC) Wellington.

Viplav's younger brother Anay Tripathi, who also studied at the Sainik School Rewa, is also an army officer, now posted as lieutenant colonel in Shillong, Patnaik said.

"Anay, who had arrived in Raigarh on Friday night, got the shocking news about his brother through his army colleagues around 12:30 pm today," an inconsolable Patnaik said.

The entire family had celebrated Diwali this year in Manipur, where Viplav was posted. His parents returned to Raigarh on November 6," he said.

Anay has left for the Eastern Command headquarters of the army in Kolkata, and mortal remains of Viplav, his wife and son would be brought to Raigarh on Sunday, Patnaik said.

A pall of gloom descended on Raigarh town when the news reached, with locals rushing to his house to express their condolences.

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