COIMBATORE: The body of an Army Havildar, Mohan Kumar (41), hailing from Wellington in Coonoor, who attained martyrdom in a bomb explosion on the Myanmar border in Manipur, will be flown down to Coimbatore on Sunday.
He is the second soldier from Tamil Nadu to die on the battlefield in a month. In April, Major Mukund Varadajan of Chennai was killed in an encounter in Kashmir.
Expressing deep grief over Mohan’s death, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa ordered a financial grant of `10 lakh to his immediately family members on Saturday.
Havildar Mohan of 25 Madras Regiment was posted at Theigothang village in Singhat Subdivision in Churachandpur district closer to Myanmar border. On May 30, while he was on a patrol along with other troop members, militants launched an attack on them hurling bombs and opening fire using automatic rifles.
A splinter hit Mohan on the neck and he succumbed at the Military Hospital of 57 Mountain Division in Leima-khong, where he was airlifted. His mortal remains would be flown to Coimbatore on an Air India flight 657, which would arrive at 11am on Sunday, from where it would be taken to his house in Kovaipudur.
Late on Saturday evening, when this Correspondent met his wife P Banumathi she put up a brave face sans tears. “More than grief, I am honoured and proud today of my husband, who laid down his life for his people and country,” said the mother of a six-year-old son Rithik.
Banumathi said Mohan never discussed about the difficulty he faced on the border. “He made it a point to call us every day and shower us with love and affection” she recalled as her son stood near her.
Mohan Kumar was until recently posted in Congo as part of a UN Mission. He had returned a few months ago and was posted at Manipur. Mohan and his family are natives of Wellington in Coonoor. However they had moved to Kovaipudur 15 years ago. He has five sisters and two brothers. Mohan had joined the Army when he was 21 years old. “He had told us that he was serving in a militant infested area but we never thought this could befall him,” added Selvakumar.