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Hyderabad bids farewell to Kargil hero
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad |
April 28, 2003 14:38 IST
Family, friends, colleagues and common folk bid a tearful farewell to Major Lalson Varghese of the Indian Army in Hyderabad on Monday afternoon.
Suspected Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists killed the 29-year-old major in an ambush during the counter-insurgency Operation Rakshak at Sumblar village in the Bandipora region of the Kashmir valley on April 24.
The funeral was held with full military honours, with Home Minister T Devender Goud representing the state government.
The coffin was brought to the New Life Assembly of God Church where the funeral service was conducted. The body was then interred at the Garrison cemetery at Trimulgherry.
Thomas Varghese, a retired army officer, said, "A soldier has died for his country and I am proud to be his father."
Lalson's brothers, Reverend Valson Varghese and Sabu Varghese, his mother Aleyamma, and wife Nisha fought back their tears as they bid him goodbye.
A resident of Ramakrishnapuram in the Secunderabad Cantonment, Maj Varghese did his schooling at the Ajmer Military School and passed out of the National Defence Academy in 1995. He was commissioned into the 42nd Regiment of the Indian Army after passing out of the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, in June 1996.
He was on deputation to the 14th Rashtriya Rifles at the time of the Kargil war.
The youngest of three brothers, Lalson got married just seven months ago. He celebrated his birthday with the family on March 13 and left for Kashmir three days later. He called up his wife on April 23 and told her of his plans of returning in September for their first wedding anniversary. But he was killed the next day. The body was brought back from Kashmir on April 26.
According to the army, Maj Varghese was an outstanding officer and served in several posts. He also won many sports medals, and excelled in several disciplines. He also loved painting.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu recalled in a statement that Maj Varghese had earned a promotion by displaying exemplary courage during the Kargil war. He had done the state and the country proud, he said.