Kolhapur (Maharashtra), Aug 8 IANS | 2 years ago

Thousands of people Thursday bade a tearful adieu to soldier Kundalik Mane of 14 Maratha Light Infantry who was martyred in an ambush two days ago at the Line of Control in Poonch area of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mane was accorded a state funeral with several top civil and military officials in attendance, including ministers R.R. Patil, Harshawardhan Patil, Hasan Mushrif and Bharatiya Janata Party deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde.

Thousands of mourners raised slogans of "Kundalik Mane amar rahe" (Kundalik Mane remain immortal) and many demanded that the government should not let his sacrifice go in vain.

Hailing from a poor family, Mane (36) is survived by his wife Rajashri, son Amol and daughter Arti, besides a brother and aged parents.

Mane's body was brought from New Delhi to Pune by an Indian Air Force aircraft late Wednesday night and taken by road to his native village Pimpalgaon early Thursday, 22 km from Kolhapur and around 425 km from state capital Mumbai.

Till late Wednesday night, the villagers had not disclosed the news of Mane's death to his family members who were told that he was seriously injured.

The villagers had observed a shutdown and voluntarily suspended television cable Wednesday.

After the news was broken, members of the distraught family fell ill and doctors had to attend to them.

Mane, who had joined the Indian Army in 1998 and was trained in Belgaum, was due for retirement next year and had plans to buy a bus and settle down with his family in his native village.

He was among the five Indian soldiers ambushed and killed by terrorists and men in Pakistani military uniform at Chakan da Bagh in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir Tuesday.

Besides Mane, the other soldiers slain in the ambush were Sambhusaran Rai, Vijay Kumar Rai, Prem Nath and Raghunandan Prasad -- all from Bihar.

(Posted on 08-08-2013)