Colonel Viplav Tripati’s parents returned from visiting him in Manipur less than a week ago. Subhash Tripati (80) and wife Asha (70) came from their hometown to Raigarh in eastern Chhattisgarh to celebrate Diwali with the colonel and his family, and left on 7 November.
Tripathi is well known in the area. Viplava’s grandfather, Kishori Lal Tripathi, was on the editorial committee of the Indian Constitution, and Subhash is a senior journalist and editor of a regional weekly based in Raigarh. Asha is a social worker.
Friends say that Wiplav was a modest and respected person. They recalled that a military band of Pipers had come to perform at his wedding in Raigarh.
Viplava’s uncle Rajesh Patnayak said that the Assam Rifle officer was unable to get a vacation in Diwali. Since his younger brother Anai is also sent to Manipur with Assam rifles, as lieutenant colonel, Subhash and Asha decided to go to Manipur.
Anai arrived at Raigarh on Friday evening, driving from Manipur on his way to Moe to train. “On Saturday afternoon he was with me when he received a message from his friends in the unit that his brother and his family had been killed,” Patnayak said.
Anai has returned to Manipur and will return with the bodies of the colonel, his wife and son, the friends said. The bodies are expected to arrive by early Sunday morning.