Guwahati: The ‘josh machine’ and a thorough gentleman, colleagues of Colonel Viplav Tripathi will forever remember him as a man who never got angry.
Commanding Officer of the 46 Assam Rifles, he was always smiling and ever helpful, getting us everything we needed to do our story. Whether it was data on illegal smuggling along Mizoram-Myanmar border or the training manual for women personnel of the Assam Rifles, Colonel Tripathi had all the information on his fingertips, and relayed it effortlessly.
The Colonel’s death in a militant ambush in Manipur’s Sehkan village comes as a huge blow to both the Assam Rifles and the Indian Army. The attack, suspected to have been carried out by militants from the separatist group People’s Liberation Army or the People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), also claimed the lives of his wife and six-year-old son along with four soldiers.
An Army officer who had been working closely with Colonel Tripathi recalled him as a “josh machine”, who was capable of performing extremely well under stress, a thorough gentleman and a professional.
Colonel Viplav Tripathi had been serving in Mizoram till July this year before he moved to Khuga in Manipur’s Churachandpur district. During his tenure in Mizoram, the battalion he led was at the forefront in border management, thwarting illegal smuggling along the Indo-Myanmar Border and the hinterland.
In this period, his battalion had also recovered several weapons and war-like stores which could have landed in the hands of anti-national elements, thus avoiding major casualties, said sources in Assam Rifles.