KOCHI: Amid an outpouring of grief, prayers, patriotic slogans, the mortal remains of 34-year-old Lance Naik Antony Sebastian K M, who was martyred during an unprovoked ceasefire violation by the Pakistan army in the Krishna Ghati sector (Mendhar) on the Line of Control on Monday evening, were laid to rest with full military honours at the Muriyad Emperor Church near Irinjalakkuda on Wednesday.
The body of Sebastian was brought to CIAL in Air India Flight 933 from Delhi on Wednesday morning. It was received by District Collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla at 8.30 am in the presence of Aluva MLA Anwar Sadath.
The mortal remains were kept at his sister's house near Udayamperoor at 10.30 am for the public to pay their tributes. The last journey began around 2.30 pm with the Indian Navy firing three rounds into the air honouring the departed soul in the presence of his mother Sheela, wife Diana, son Aiden and sister Nivya. The police force also honoured the soldier by firing into the air.
A sea of humanity thronged his house, including army officers, ex-servicemen, police officers, students, NCC cadets and several others. Even people from different parts of the state reached Udayamperoor to pay tribute to the brave soul.
Representing the state government, Minister for Local Bodies A C Moideen attended the funeral. District Collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla, K V Thomas, DCC President, MLAs V P Sajeendran and Anoop Jacob, CPM district secretary C N Mohanan, A N Radhakrishnan, former Excise Minister K Babu and others were also present.
According to the family members, he planned to end his 17-year service by March next year. "If he could have taken the decision earlier, we may not have lost him. But we are so proud of him as he lost his life serving the nation,” said a relative of Sebastian.