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U'khand cremates Kathua martyrs with heavy heart

Ukhand cremates Kathua martyrs with heavy heart

Dehradun: The five soldiers from Uttarakhand killed in a terrorist ambush on an army convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua were cremated at their native places with full military honours in an emotionally charged atmosphere on Wednesday.

The quiet hill villages from where they hailed broke into loud wails of their grieving relatives as their bodies were brought home in coffins wrapped in the national flag.

Not only the residents of their own villages but also hundreds of those from neighbouring hamlets attended their funerals to bid a final farewell to the martyrs with a heavy heart.

Heart rending videos of the parents and wives of the martyrs falling over the coffins carrying their mortal remains brought to tears anyone who saw them.

As soon as the body of Havildar Kamal Singh reached his village Naudanu, loud cries of women gathered outside his home rent the air.

Havildar Kamal Singh, who was the family's sole breadwinner, has left behind his 92-year-old grandmother, 72-year-old mother, wife and two daughters.

Bhagat Singh Negi, a villager, said that when Kamal was about four years old, his father suddenly died.

His father ran a small shop in the village and also did farming. After the death of his father, the entire burden of the house fell on his mother and grandmother. His mother worked very hard and gave him education despite being in poverty, Negi said.

Singh was cremated with full military honours on the banks of the Mandal river. The funeral pyre was lit by his uncle Kalyan Singh.

Commandant of Garhwal Rifles, Regiment Centre Lansdowne, Vinod Singh Negi, paid homage by laying a wreath on his body.

On behalf of the chief minister, Lansdowne MLA Dilip Rawat also paid homage by laying a wreath.

Anuj Negi, another martyr from Pauri district, was also cremated near Tanda Mahadev Mandir on the banks of the Mandal river. His funeral pyre was lit by his father Bharat Singh Negi.

Similar scenes were witnessed at Naib Subedar Anand Singh's home in Tanda in Ruydraprayag district where his mortal remains were consigned to flames on Wednesday.

The villagers, who had gathered for the funerals, said the attack on the army convoy in Kathua was the handiwork of Pakistan-supported terrorists who deserved to be taught a lesson.

It is time for a decisive action against the Pakistani handlers of the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, they said.

The last rites of Lance Naik Vinod Singh, a resident of Chaund-Jaspur village of Tehri district, who was also martyred in Kathua were also performed with full military and state honours at Poornanand Ghat situated on the banks of river Ganga.

The last rites of martyred soldier Adarsh Negi, a resident of Dagar village of Kirtinagar block, were performed at Alaknanda Ghat situated in Maletha. Anti-Pakistan slogans were raised by people attending his funeral.

Earlier, the body of soldier Vinod Singh of Garhwal Rifles was brought to his residence in Bhaniyawala. As a representative of the state government, Cabinet Minister Premchand Agarwal saluted the martyr and offered floral tributes to him.

Cabinet Minister Subodh Uniyal also paid tribute to the martyr. A huge crowd of people gathered for the martyr's last journey.

State Minister Premchand Agarwal looked emotional. He said this is a moment of extreme pain for all residents of the state.

"This supreme sacrifice of our brave soldiers against terrorism while protecting Maa Bharati will not go in vain," Agarwal said.

His father, retired soldier Veer Singh Bhandari, mother Shashi Devi, wife Neema and the entire family were crying inconsolably. They said that their son has sacrificed his life for the country and added those who carried out the cowardly attack should be taught a lesson soon.

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