Indian Army soldier Mandeep Singh, whose body was mutilated by militants near the de facto border with Pakistan was cremated on Sunday in his village in Haryana with full military honours.
Mandeep, a soldier of the 17th Sikh Regiment, was killed in a gunbattle with the militants in near the Line of Control (LoC) in Macchil sector of Kupwara area of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday night. He was from Antehri village in Kurukshetra district, about 100 km from Chandigarh.
Hundreds of people gathered to pay their last respects to the soldier. The people raised slogans of “Long live Mandeep”. Mandeep’s body was brought to Ambala on Saturday and handed over to the family a day later.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar visited the village on Sunday morning. He announced a compensation of Rs 50 lakh for the family and a government job for one of the members.
Senior officers of the army, district administration and the police were present at the cremation.
Residents said Diwali will not be celebrated in the village as a mark of respect to the fallen soldier.
“We are proud of the sacrifice of our son. Pakistan must be taught a lesson for its inhuman actions,” Mandeep’s father, Phool Singh, said.
Mandeep, who was married in 2014, leaves behind his parents and widow Prerna, who is a constable in the Haryana Police.
“Our government should take decisive action to finish Pakistan. We cannot let our soldiers die like this,” an inconsolable Prerna told the media.
The slain soldier was to celebrate Diwali with his family at his village this year.
The Indian Army, in an official statement on Saturday, said the soldier’s body was “mutilated”, and added that the force will retaliate with an “appropriate response”.
The army later said it destroyed four Pakistani military posts along the border. It gave no further details of the assault, but an officer, who asked that his name not be used, confirmed that troops on both sides had been exchanging mortar fire in and around an area known as the Keran sector since Saturday morning.
As the tension between the nuclear-armed neighbours escalated, the Border Security Force decided not to exchange sweets with the Pakistan Rangers at the Attari-Wagah Border on the occasion of Diwali, ANI reported.
Relations between India and Pakistan have hit a new low after four militants attacked an Indian Army base in northern Kashmir’s Uri in September, killing 19 soldiers . India blamed Pakistan-based militants for the assault, a charge Islamabad promptly denied.