CHITTOOR: The last rites of Lance Naik B Sai Teja were performed with full military honours at his native Eguva Regada in Kurbalakota mandal of Chittoor on Sunday. The braveheart was among the 13 killed, including India’s Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor last Wednesday.
Teja’s mortal remains, which reached the district in the early hours of Sunday, were laid to rest amid chants of ‘Jai Jawan’ by hundreds who gathered to pay their last respects to the martyr.
The funeral arrangements were done under the watch of Army officials. A team gave the guard of honour to the Lance Naik. The national flag which draped the coffin was handed over to his wife Shyamala before the burial.
Teja’s family broke down at the funeral attended by scores of people who arrived to pay their respects. His father B Mohan was inconsolable, and Shyamala collapsed on seeing the coffin. The Lance Naik’s last rites were performed by his brother Mahesh who carried Teja’s five-year-old son. After reaching Chittoor, Sai Teja’s body was received at Madanapalle. En route to his hometown, scores of vehicles and students escorted the ambulance.
As the military and police personnel accompanied the soldier’s coffin through Madanapalle to Eguva Regada, people stood at roadsides holding the tricolour and showered flowers on the ambulance.
Chittoor SP S Senthil Kumar, Tirupati Urban SP Ch Venkata Appala Naidu, Joint Collector Dr. Venkateswar and others paid floral tributes to the Lance Naik at the funeral.
Born in 1994 in a farmers’ family, Sai Teja fulfilled his dream when he was selected for the Army Service Corps in 2013 after he took part in a rally in Guntur. Following his basic military training, Teja completed an advanced physical training course from AIPT, Pune.
Later, Teja decided to serve in the Parachute Regiment and opted for the elite special forces unit. A hard worker, Teja got many promotions within a short period and joined as the SPO of CDS General Bipin Rawat only seven months ago.