Slain Brigadier cremated with military honours
Brigadier R D Mehta, the martyr of the dastardly Kabul suicide attack, was cremated on Tuesday at a solemn ceremony with full military honours.
Despite a drizzle, a large number of mourners led by Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor turned up at the Brar Cemetery to pay homage to the officer, who fell victim to the suicide car bomb attack on Monday at the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.
"We bid farewell to a fine soldier," Kapoor told the grieving family, recalling his association with Mehta during his stewardship of the Udhampur-based Northern Command.
The wife of the slain Brigadier, Sunita, and the children, Udit and Bhawiya, close relations and associates of Mehta in the Army, though grief-stricken, kept their poise at the funeral, as Udit lit the pyre.
Defence Minister A K Antony, who had expressed desire to personally attend the funeral, could not make it due to fast-paced political developments. He sent a personal emissary, who laid a wreath on the coffin.
Men of the Rajputana Rifles gave a 21-gun salute, as buglers sounded the last post as flight lieutenant Udit Mehta performed the last rites.
Wreaths were also laid on behalf of President Pratibha Patil, who is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, AICC president Sonia Gandhi, Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta, and Air Chief Marshal FH Major, apart from a large number of Army officers, Navy and Air Force officers.