MUMBAI: People of four villages in Maharashtra turned up in large numbers to share the grief of the families of four bravehearts from the state, who were among the 18 jawans martyred in the Uri terror attack.
Sandip Somnath Thok (24) from Nashik district, Chandrakant Shankar Galande from Satara, Vikas Janardhan Kulmethe (27) from Yavatmal district and Panjab alias Vikas Janrao Uike (26) from Amravati lost their lives in yesterday's terror attack.
Bodies of three martyrs -- Sandip Thok, Chandrakant Galande and Vikas Uike -- were brought to Ojhar airport in Nashik district in an IAF plane from Srinagar, an official press release issued at Nashik said.
Maharashtra ministers Dada Bhuse and Girish Mahajan paid tributes to the three martyrs by placing wreaths on their coffins at the airport. Army officers and government officials were also present. The bodies were later taken to the respective hometowns of the martyrs by road for the last rites, the release added.
The body of the fourth martyr, Vikas Janardhan Kulmethe from Yavatmal district, was being brought to Nagpur by air and will be taken to his native place by road.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government announced financial assistance of Rs 15 lakh each to the families of the martyrs from the state.
Villagers of Jashi in Mann tehsil of Satara district made a beeline in front of Galande's house ever since the news of his killing reached the village. Galande's brothers Manjya Bapu and Keshav are also in the armed forces.
The family has a house on the outskirts of the village where the slain soldier's wife and two children live.
At Khandagali village in Nashik district, the family of Sandip Somnath Thok, killed in the Uri attack, was mourning the loss of the soldier who was a bachelor.
Sandip is survived by parents, elder brother Yogesh and two married sisters. His father Somnath is an onion farmer.
Sandip had joined the army in 2014 after repeated attempts. Ten youths from the village are serving in the armed forces.