Mumbai: Being brought up in Kashmir, Mohit Raina almost grew up with soldiers as his friends. Which is probably why his role as Major Karan Kashyap in Uri The Surgical Strike was a surreal experience for him and his fans considering he wanted to join the forces too.

As a kid, he would chat with them for hours, get a share of their lunch although not exactly knowing who they were. In his words, “In Kashmir, we used to have Army people everywhere. So, I used to interact a lot with them. I used to eat their tiffin and even got food from my home for them. But at that time, I didn’t know who they are. For me, they were just people in green colour uniforms who were there to protect us.”

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Cut to 2019, Mohit Raina is a 36-year-old actor based in Mumbai but his heart bleeds on hearing about soldiers being killed in Kashmir. On Valentine’s Day, the actor was on his way to attend an event, when he first read the news on his mobile phone. He recalled, “I was on my way to attend an event organized by an OTT platform where they were going to announce my collaboration with them. I was really excited. But after reading the news on my mobile, I was just physically present there. I was emotionally shaken completely as the numbers kept on rising from 10 to 15 to 40.”

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After a pause, the actor added, “It’s been almost 30 years I have been witnessing this bloodshed. Have heard stories from my grandfather in the 80s, then from my father in the 90s and now I explain the scenario to my nephew.  Generations have passed, but this hasn’t stopped. When will sense prevail and it will be peaceful? I just pray and hope the authorities look for a long-term solution once and forever. Losing a loved one is the biggest tragedy anyone could go through. This is extremely saddening.”