Prem Sagar, the BSF soldier who was killed and his body mutilated by Pakistani forces at the line of control (LoC) on Monday, was cremated on Wednesday morning after Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath gave assurances to his family in a late night phone call.
After receiving the body on Tuesday, Sagar’s family refused to perform his last rites unless the chief minister paid a visit and promised jobs to his children.
The CM promised to visit the family for the ‘tehranvi’ rituals, held on the 13th day after a person’s death according to Hindu tradition. He also assured a job to Sagar’s daughter.
UP minister Surya Pratap Sahi, the local MLA at Deoria where the family is based, arranged the phone call in late night discussions. The call was made at 2.30am.
The family members also wanted parts of Sagar’s body, presumed to have been taken away by Pakistani forces, be brought back before the cremation.
“They agreed to cremate the body around 2.30 am after the CM spoke to them on the phone and assured all possible help. The body was cremated in the morning with full state honours,” sub-divisional magistrate RK Yadav told Hindustan Times.
Sagar’s wife Gyanti Devi, son Indrajeet and daughters Monica and Saroj had surrounded the Tricolour-draped coffin and did not allow the administration to take it for cremation, which was initially scheduled for Tuesday night.
District magistrate Sujeet Kumar, Border Security Force DIG (200 battalion) Rajeev Rajan Kumar and assistant superintendent of police Narendra Kumar tried to convince the family at first. Talks went on for more than four hours.
Shahi also promised to build a memorial for Sagar and rename a crossing in his name.
In addition to the Rs 20 lakh compensation announced to the family by the Union government, the district administration decided to gives Rs 6 lakh and the BSF promised Rs 10 lakh.
On Tuesday, the family demanded that India give Pakistan a befitting reply for killing him and Naib Subedar Paramjeet Singh, an army JCO.
Pakistani troops had also mutilated the bodies of the two along the LoC in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.
Anti-Pakistan slogans were heard around Deoria’s Tikampur a day after the incident.
Prem Sagar is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.
The elder daughter Saroj said: “I want the PM to direct our soldiers to bring 50 heads of Pakistani personnel in lieu of the sacrifice made by my father.”