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Punjab bids tearful farewell to soldiers killed in J-K encounter

Source: PTI
October 14, 2021 00:40 IST
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In a village in Punjab's Kapurthala district, a teary-eyed Vikramjit Singh (13) on Wednesday lit the pyre of his father Naib Subedar Jaswinder Singh, who was among the five soldiers killed in a fierce gunfight with terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.

IMAGE: Family members of Naib Subedar Jaswinder Singh break down near the mortal remains during his cremation, who was killed fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch, in Kapurthala on Wednesday. Photograph: ANI Photo

In Gurdaspur and Rupnagar districts, the families of Naik Mandeep Singh and Sepoy Gajjan Singh, who were also killed in the operation on Monday, were also inconsolable.

Slogans of 'Shaheed Amar Rahe' and 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' rent the air as military vehicles carrying the mortal remains of the three soldiers reached their respective villages. Anti-Pakistan slogans were also raised.

IMAGE: Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi and state Legislative Assembly Speaker Rana K P Singh along with others carry the mortal remains of Sepoy Gajjan Singh to perform his last rites, who was killed fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch, in Rupnagar on Wednesday. Photograph: ANI Photo

Villagers, especially the youth, showered flower petals on the military vehicles.

In Kapurthala's Mana Talwandi village, Jaswinder's son Vikramjit and daughter Harnoor Kaur (11) saluted their father's mortal remains.

A weeping Vikramjit lit his father's pyre and pledged to join the Army.

Jaswinder was the third member of his family to join the Army after his father and his brother.

IMAGE: A police personnel pays last respect to Naib Subedar Jaswinder Singh who was killed fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch, in Kapurthala on Wednesday. Photograph: ANI Photo

Punjab minister Rana Gurjit Singh laid a wreath on behalf of Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi. Besides scores of villagers, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief Bibi Jagir Kaur, Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira and district administration officials attended Jaswinder's last rites.

Jaswinder, who was awarded the Sena Medal in 2006, is survived by his wife and two children.

Similar heart-rending unfolded at the residence of Sepoy Gajjan Singh in Rupnagar's Pachranda village.

IMAGE: Army personnel pay last respect to the martyred Naib Subedar Jaswinder Singh during his cremation, who was killed fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch, in Kapurthala on Wednesday. Photograph: ANI Photo

Chief minister Channi shouldered the mortal remains Gajjan.

The youngest of four brothers, Gajjan, 27, got married in February. Besides his wife Harpreet Kaur, he is survived by his parents.

He had last visited home two months back to attend the wedding of one of his brothers.

Gajjan's father Channan Singh, who lit his son's funeral pyre, demanded that a gate be erected at the entry of the village in memory of his son so that the future generations can be inspired by his sacrifice.

IMAGE: Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi gets emotional during the cremation of Sepoy Gajjan Singh who was killed fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch, in Rupnagar on Wednesday. Photograph: ANI Photo

Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana KP Singh, MLA Amarjit Singh Sandoa and Punjab Youth Congress president Barinder Singh Dhillon also attended the last rites of the slain soldier.

In Gurdaspur's Chhatha Shira village, the family of Naik Mandeep Singh, 30, struggled to come to terms with its loss.

IMAGE: Naib Subedar Jaswinder Singh, left, and Naik Mandeep Singh. Photograph: PTI Photo

His family members wept as he arrived home wrapped in the tricolour days before his 31st birthday on October 16.

According to Mandeep's family members, he was expected to come home soon.

He is survived by his wife and two sons. While his elder son is aged 3, the younger one is just a month old.

IMAGE: From left, Sep Gajjan Singh, Sep Saraj Singh, and Sep Vaisakh H. Photograph: PTI Photo

His wife Mandeep Kaur said she will make both her sons join the Army like their father.

One of Mandeep's brothers is also serving in the Army.

Punjab minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Batala MLA Lakhbir Singh Lodhinangal, among others, were present at Mandeep's cremation.

The state government had on Monday announced an ex gratia of Rs 50 lakh and a government job each for the families of the three soldiers.

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