COIMBATORE: The body of Havildar G Mohan Kumar, who was killed in action during an encounter with militants on India-Myanmar border, was laid to rest with full military honours here on Sunday
Mohan Kumar was killed after a bomb was hurled at him by suspected militants at interior Theigothang village under Singhat sub division close to Myanmar border Churachandpur district. Earlier, his body was flown in to Coimbatore airport by an Air India flight around noon. It was then brought to his house.
As news spread, several locals and residents of nearby areas gathered at the house to pay their respects to the slain jawan. Many laid wreath on the body to pay their homage.
Family members became inconsolable on seeing the body of Mohan Kumar.
Locals too turned emotional and broke out. Many mourners, who joined the funeral procession chanted ‘Bharath Matha Ki Jai’ (Long live Mother India) slogan from the beginning and continued till the body reached the burial ground near Athupalam bridge in the city.
Top military officers and other personnel attached to the Madras Regimental Centre at Wellington in Coonor and Madukarai base, paid their homage to their slain colleague. The body was buried after being offered full military honours. Jawans fired three rounds in the air as mark of military honour, before his body was lowered in to the burial ground.
Earlier in the day, minister S P Velumani, district collector Archana Patnaik and other officials paid their homage to Mohan Kumar at his house.
The minister then handed over a cheque of `10 lakh to the widow of Mohan Kumar as announced by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
Subedar Alexander, who saw Mohan Kumar in action before he laid down his life after being hit by the splinter, accompanied his body to Coimbatore, told Express that he along with other soldiers put up a brave front during the last few minutes. Mohan Kumar was part of a 15-member team that was involved in an encounter with a 25-strong team of anti-national elements, a group that parted away from a main militant group.
The militants fired bullets and hurled bombs from thick forest regions on the border. However, the team of 15 jawans patrolling the area sensed the movement of the militant group and retaliated well in advance.
But Mohan Kumar, who was fighting them fiercely, was hit by a splinter which came out of a bomb hurled by the militants and was killed. He collapsed at the same spot as the splinter hit his neck directly.
Though Mohan was immediately rushed to a hospital, he had already succumbed and doctors declared him brought dead. Alexander said that the area where the incident happened was deep inside the forest area.
It would take a long time to reach even the nearest point of human habitation, where some facilities are available, from the encounter spot.