Chakan-da-Bagh martyrs cremated with full state honours
The bodies of the five soldiers killed in Kashmir by attackers, including men in Pakistani military uniform, were cremated Thursday with full state honours in Bihar and Maharashtra.
Four of the slain soldiers were from Bihar while the fifth was from Maharashtra.
The soldiers from 21 Bihar Regiment were bid a tearful adieu by their respective families. Relatives and thousands of people from neighbouring villages and leaders of different political parties, including ministers, gathered for the last rites of the martyrs.
Prem Nath Singh and Raghunandan Prasad, two of the four soldiers, were cremated Thursday with full state honours at their respective native villages of Samhauta and Nautan in Bihar's Saran district.
Singh, son of a retired railway official, was the eldest of four brothers and the sole bread earner in the family.
He leaves behind his wife Sangeeta Devi, two daughters and a son.
Prasad was unmarried and is survived by his mother and two brothers. His father was in the army but died due to bad health few years ago.
Sambhusaran Rai, who belonged to Ara in Bhojpur district, and Vijay Kumar Rai from Bihta in Patna were also cremated with full state honours.
The five soldiers were killed when attackers, including men in Pakistani military uniform, intruded into Indian territory and ambushed an army patrol at Chakan-da-Bagh sector of the Line of Control (LoC), which divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
One soldier was injured.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced compensation of Rs.10 lakh for the families of each of the slain soldiers.
In Maharasthra, thousands of people Thursday bade a tearful adieu to soldier Kundalik Mane of 14 Maratha Light Infantry (MLI) who was martyred in the ambush that has strained ties between India and Pakistan.
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 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 the state capital Mumbai.
Till late Wednesday night, the villagers had not disclosed 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 joined the Indian Army in 1998, was trained in Belgaum. He was due to retire next year and had plans to buy a bus and settle down with his family in his native village.
(Posted on 08-08-2013)