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'Don't let any ultra escape': Slain Major's last words
October 05, 2007 15:49 IST
"Don't let any militant escape," these were the last words of Major D Raghuraman when he was air-lifted from the gun-battle spot in North Kashmir after being hit by a bullet in the chest.
This was recounted by Gaurav Negi, a company officer of the 19-Jat Regiment, as family members and colleagues bid a tearful adieu to the soldier, who was killed in the gun-battle in Baramulla on Wednesday.
"A bullet had hit his chest and the worst thing was that it was embedded inside the body. As he was being airlifted, he showed a thumbs-up sign to commanding officer Harjinder and told the officer not to leave anyone," Negi said.
As Army men fired in the air thrice and played the bugle, Raghuraman's ex-servicemen-father Krishnamurthy lit the funeral pyre in the presence of Rashtriya Rifles director general Lt Gen K P D Samanta and other officers.
Raghuraman's wife Lata, who works with TCS [Get Quote], his soldier-sister Aparna and father-in-law Sivaprakash were also present.
Lata, who is expecting a baby in two months, was handed over the uniform worn by the Major and the Tri-colour used to drape the body. Krishnamurthy, himself an ex-servicemen, said he was very much proud of his son who sacrificed his life for the nation.
"He was great and brave. I wish every child and youngster takes inspiration from him. I will advise my yet-to-be-born grandson that he should also join the Army," Krishnamurthy said in a voice choked with emotion.
Raghuraman, who hails from Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, was to come home on leave next week, but was killed along with his fellow officer and friend Major Vinay when they were involved in the gun-battle in which nine militants were eliminated.
Vinay, who hails from Hyderabad, was leading the army onslaught on Wednesday in Baramulla and was hit at the start of the operation, while Raghuraman braving heavy gun fire was shot while going to rescue the former.
"Vinay and Raghuraman were batchmates and they had an excellent rapport," Army spokesperson Col S K Sakuja said.
Vinay was to get married later this month and he had distributed the invitation cards a day before his death, he said.