The martyrs in the helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor along with General Bipin Rawat were given emotional farewells as they were cremated with full military honours in their respective home towns/villages. Thousands of locals had gathered to salute the bravehearts as family members bid a tearful adieu.
In Agra, people lined up both sides of the road and showered flower petals as the military
vehicle carrying the mortal remains of Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan was driven to the crematorium. The officer’s father Surendra Singh, wife Kamini Singh and other family members were present at the crematorium, as were several local leaders, dignitaries, and officials. Chauhan’s son Aviraj (7), daughter Aaradhya (12) and cousin Pushpendra Singh lit the pyre. Earlier in the morning, Union Minister of State for Law and Justice and MP from Agra S P Singh Baghel and officials of the IAF, police and administration paid their respects at the airport when the mortal remains arrived from Tamil Nadu.
The last rites of Squadron Leader Kuldeep Rao were performed with full military honours in his native village of Ghardana Khurd in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district. His wife Yashasvini wept uncontrollably as she lit the funeral pyre. His mother Kamla Devi was also present and kissed the photograph of her son and saluted him before the last rites were performed.
“My son was martyred while serving the country. He has brought laurels to the country and to our village. I will now send my daughter-in-law also to the army,” said the braveheart mother.
Hundreds of locals and even people from other villages had reached to catch a last glimpse of the brave son of Shekhawati, a region that is known to send a large number of men to the security forces.
Lance Naik Vivek Kumar, the personal security officer of CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, was cremated at this native village Jaisinghpur in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, who earlier received his mortal remains at the airport, announced Rs 5 lakh as immediate relief to the bereaved family and an additional Rs 5 lakh from his discretionary fund.
On the other hand, the family of Satpal Rai, the personal security officer of CDS Bipin Rawat, is still waiting for his mortal remains to be handed over. The delay is reportedly because the process of DNA matching is yet to be completed. Rai’s wife in Darjeeling expressed disappointment over not receiving her husband’s body.