TAMBARAM: A pall of gloom descended on Rajaji Street in Radha Nagar, Chromepet, as news spread about the gunning down of Major Dinesh Raghuraman in an encounter with militants in Kashmir.
The officer, only about 28 years old (according to his neighbours), belonged to the Rashtriya Rifles regiment and was involved in a gun battle with militants and succumbed to bullet injuries on Wednesday. The officer’s parents Krishnamurthy, an ex-serviceman and Mala, a housewife, have been staying in an apartment for about eight years now.
The officer’s elder sister, Lieutenant Aparna Ganesh, is a Doctor with the Indian Navy and posted at Karwar, Karnataka. The family hails from Velipalayam on the outskirts of Nagapattinam. They were staying mostly in north India due to Mr. Krishnamurthy’s posting in the Army.
After schooling in New Delhi, Major Dinesh underwent training in two prestigious institutions - National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla, Pune and later the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
Some of his close family friends said Major Dinesh joined the Indian Army in 2001 and also served in Kargil. The family moved to Chennai as Lt. Aparna joined Stanley Medical College to purse her medicine. In 2005, Major Dinesh married Latha, who is employed with software major TCS in New Delhi.
The officer’s parents left for Karwar on Tuesday to pick up Lt. Aparna on the way to New Delhi. The family was to meet in the national capital on October 15 for the ‘seemandham’ of Ms. Latha Dinesh. The couple was expecting their first child in a couple of months, neighbours said.
Members of officer’s family were cheerful and pleasant with neighbours and the news of the officer’s martyrdom came as a shock to all, they told reporters on Thursday evening. Enquiries revealed that arrangements for the funeral of the officer were made in New Delhi.