Cuttack: For the Panda family in Cuttack, it was a rough day on Thursday. As Independence Day coincided with Raksha Bandhan, sisters Madhusmita and Sasmita broke down when they reminisced their brother Sibasis Panda.
On January 8, 2016, BSF jawan Sibasis Panda died in a landmine blast triggered by the red rebels in the Kaliajhula forest of Koraput during a combing operation. Since then, the sisters have been tying rakhi to Sibasis’ bust every year.
Madhusmita recalled, “We are four siblings. In childhood days, we used to have a lot of fun. We were inseparable. When Bhai decided to serve the nation, we were proud of him. Every year, we sent him Rakhi by post and wished him over the phone.”
After tying Rakhi to his bust and offering flowers at his photo, teary-eyed Sasmita said, “I can feel his touch and presence around. But, I know he is not physically there and that hurts me.”
Raksha Bandhan symbolises the love and wishes of a sister for the well-being of her brother and the life-long vow of a brother to protect his sister from all evils. “In the pursuit for serving his country, Sibasis failed to keep his vow to us. It is heart-breaking but we are proud of him and we dearly miss him,” the sisters whispered.