MADURAI/SIVAGANGA: The body of sepoy P Ilayaraja who died in action in north Kashmir, was laid to rest at his native village of Kandani in Sivaganga on Monday, with his mother performing the last rites in the absence of his father, Periyasamy.
It may be recalled that Ilayaraja and another sepoy, Gawai Sumedh Waman from Maharashtra, were killed in an anti-militancy operation on Saturday, at Shopian’s Awneera village in northern Kashmir, where a joint team of the police, the army and the CRPF had a face-off with militants.
The mortal remains of Ilayaraja were brought in a special aircraft to Madurai in the afternoon. District Collector K Veera Raghava Rao, Superintendent of Police P Manivannan and senior army officials paid their last respects to the deceased soldier at the airport. The coffin, draped in the National Flag, left for Ilayangudi with military honours.
Ilayaraja’s pregnant wife Selvi and mother Meenakshi were inconsolable. What added to the tragedy was the fact that Ilayaraja’s father, a daily wager, had gone to do some odd jobs somewhere in north Tamil Nadu and his mobile number was unreachable. He remains ignorant of the terrible misfortune that has befallen the family.
A huge crowd had gathered at the crematorium where the body was brought, even as sound of patriotic slogans rend the air. Sivaganga Collector S Malarvizhi and Superintendent of Police T Jeyachandran also paid their last respects to the martyr. After a 21-gun salute, the body was cremated. The National Flag was handed over to Selvi. The state government has announced monetary relief for the family. Ilayaraja joined the army in 2013. He married Selvi last year. He had visited the family a month back and spoken to them on Saturday when he told them that there were gunfights in the area.
CM grants E20L to kin of Ilayaraja
Chennai: Expressing deep grief over the death of sepoy P Ilayaraja, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday announced a solatium of D20 lakh to the family of the martyred soldier