Stranded at IAF base, Vadodara family indebted to soldiers

Stranded at IAF base, Vadodara family indebted to soldiers

Stranded at IAF base, Vadodara family indebted to soldiers

A Vadodara family stranded inside the residential compound of the Pathankot air base that was struck by terrorists on Saturday, today said it is indebted to the soldiers who laid down their lives to save others.

On Friday, while returning from Kashmir, Vadodara-based Mayur Chavda (33) and six members of his family landed up at Pathankot to stay with one of their relatives who works at the IAF base.

Later in the dead of the night on Saturday, six militants stormed into the key air base near Pakistan border, taking the area under siege for more than 72 hours as they engaged in a gunbattle with security personnel.

Talking to PTI over the phone, Chavda said, "We are following Army's every instruction including to stay indoors, keep everything packed, and not allow any outsider to enter the house.

"We are totally cut off from the outside world and learnt about developments in the security forces' operations through the TV," said Chavda, holed up in one of the residential quarters at the air base along with his elder brother and their families.

"Only after the Army's instructions we will be able to leave. We have rationed the food. There is no milk," he added.

When the attack started, Chavda family could hear gunshots and explosions barely about 300 metres away from the residential area where they are holed up. "Our children were very scared and took shelter under the beds," he said.

"We do not know how long this lock-down will last, but we are fully confident of the capabilities of our armed forces in keeping our country safe," he added.

"We are safe due to our jawans, we are indebted to the martyrs," he said.

The neutralising operation at the Pathankot IAF base were today called off, however, combing operations continued in the area. Six terrorists were killed and seven security personnel died in the siege.