New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Two years after she lost her husband in a gunbattle with Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama, Nitika Kaul, the wife of Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal, joined the Indian Army on Saturday at the passing out parade in Chennai's Officers Training Academy (OTA).

Kaul, who had married Major Dhoundiyal in 2018, has now been commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Indian Army. Lieutenant General YK Joshi, a Kargil veteran and chief of staff of the Northern Command, piped the stars on Kaul's shoulders during the passing out parade at the OTA.

"....I've experienced the same journey he has been through. I believe he's always going to be part of my life," Kaul said at the passing out parade.

Union Ministers, senior Army officials and netizens congratulate Kaul

As Kaul donned the Army uniform at the OTA, Union Ministers, senior Army officials and netizens congratulated her. Union Minister Smriti Irani took to Twitter to laud Kaul's courage and said that the entire nation is proud of her.

"Lt. @NitikaKaul, you’re an embodiment of dedication, determination and devotion of India’s Nari Shakti. Major Vibhuti Dhoundiyal would be smiling today with joy and pride seeing Stars on your shoulder. My best wishes to you in all your endeavours," she tweeted.

Several Twitter users also congratulated Kaul. "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," said a netizen Swapnil Pandey.

Why did Nitika Kaul join the Army?

Kaul's husband Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal had lost his life while neutralising Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists in Pulwama, days after the deadly attack at the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in the Valley. He was awarded Shaurya Chakra for his valour.

After Major Dhoundiyal's death, Kaul in an interview with news agency ANI had urged every Indian not to "sympathise but stay strong and united".

Praising Major Dhoundiyal for laying down his life, Kaul 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.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma