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Thousands in Mumbai attend funeral of Army officer killed by militants in Kashmir

Major Kaustubh Rane (29) of the Garhwal Rifles was killed in a gunfight with militants on the Line of Control (LoC) in Gurez sector in Bandipora district.

india Updated: Aug 10, 2018 11:45 IST
Ram Parmar
Ram Parmar
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Kashmir,Indian Army,Major Kaustubh Rane
Major Kaustubh Rane’s funeral procession in Mumbai.(Satyabrata Tripathy/ HT Photo)

The mortal remains of Major Kaustubh Rane who was killed in an encounter with terrorists in the Gurez section in Kashmir on Tuesday were consigned to flames at the Mira Road civic crematorium on Thursday afternoon with full military honours.

The funeral was led by Lt Gen Cherish Mathson, General Officer Commanding in Chief, South Western Command, of the Garhwal Rifles unit along with Naval Bajaj, IGP, Konkan Range, Thane Rural police and personnel from the three Armed forces of the Indian Army. Nearly 20,000 mourners joined the funeral procession.

Major Kaustubh Rane (29) of the Garhwal Rifles was killed in the fire fight after an army detachment engaged a group of infiltrators on the Line of Control (LoC) in Gurez sector in Bandipora district, 125 kms from Srinagar.

Three other soldiers -- Rifleman Mandeep Singh (26) of Shivpuri in Uttrakhand, Rifleman Hameer Singh (28) of village Pokhriyal in Uttrakhand and Vikramjeet Singh (25) of village Tepla in Ambala district of Haryana -- were also killed in the shootout, while two infiltrators were shot dead by the Army jawans.

A pall of gloom descended in Sheetal Nagar as the body arrived in the early hours of Thursday. A public homage was arranged for two hours to allow thousands of mourners to pay their respects. Chants of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Vande Mataram” rent the air when the coffin containing Major Rane’s body was being taken in a military truck for the cremation.

Major Rane left behind his father Prakash Kumar, mother Jyoti, wife Kanika, sister Kashyapi, and two-year-old son, Agastya. The family stays in a first floor flat Pune’s Sheetal Nagar area.

Ahead of the cremation, the father of the fallen soldier complained of uneasiness at his residence, and doctors rushed to check on his health. Kanika was brave and tried to control her tears, but while paying her last respects to her husband, she broke down completely and had to be escorted by relatives to her seat while Agastya, oblivious to the tragedy, was playful in the care of another relative.

Prakash Kumar lit the funeral pyre of his son at the Vaikunthdham civic crematorium as the crowd jostled for a closer look at the pyre.

First Published: Aug 09, 2018 16:39 IST