Chandigarh/Panipat, September 15 (Language) Colonel Manpreet Singh’s six-year-old son Kabir, dressed in army uniform, bid a final farewell to his martyred father, saying “Jai Hind Papa”.
Colonel Singh, who made the supreme sacrifice in the encounter with terrorists in the Kashmir Valley, was cremated on Friday at his native village in Mohali district of Punjab.
Martyr Major Ashish Dhochak, who sacrificed his life fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, was accorded a final farewell with full military honors by thousands of teary-eyed people in his native village of Panipat, Haryana. Along with his bereaved family, army officers were also present on martyr Major Dhochak’s last journey.
Since morning, Colonel Singh’s house in Bharonjian village has witnessed a steady stream of mourners joining his grief-stricken wife, mother and other family members on his last journey.
During this, an army officer was seen holding Kabir on his lap as the family and other people bid farewell to him. A relative held his two-year-old daughter Bunny in his arms.
Kabir was later seen clinging to his father’s tricolor draped coffin along with other family members. Just before the cremation, he paid homage to his father’s mortal remains, after which slogans like ‘Bharat Mata ke Saput ki Jai’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ echoed.
Colonel Singh’s funeral took place with full military honours, including a floral tribute and a gun salute. The villagers raised slogans of “Indian Army Zindabad” and “Hindustan Zindabad”.
After the funeral, some people raised anti-Pakistan slogans.
Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit, former army chief Malik, Punjab cabinet ministers Chetan Singh Jauramajra and Anmol Gagan Mann along with senior army and police officers were present and paid floral tributes to the martyr. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lt Gen DP Vats (retd) was also present.
Purohit and Anmol Mann also consoled Colonel Singh’s family.
Former army chief General VP Malik told reporters after the funeral: “This is a very sad moment.” Both officers Manpreet and Ashish were from my regiment.
Col Singh’s emotional mother was seen waiting at the door for her son’s mortal remains since morning. Singh (41) was the third generation soldier in his family. His father who died nine years ago was an ex-soldier.
Some of his teachers also attended the funeral of Colonel Singh.
“He was a diamond for us,” said the devastated teachers. He was also a diamond in the country. He said he would come back in December.
Col Singh’s class 1 teacher Asha Chadda described him as an exceptional student, “Today we are very sad but at the same time we are proud to be the teacher of a martyr who has made the supreme sacrifice for the country.”
The Sena Medal is awarded to military officer is survived by two children, wife Jagmeet Kaur, mother Manjeet Kaur and brother Sandeep. Martyr’s wife is a teacher in a government school in Panchkula, Haryana.
Colonel Singh did his schooling from Mullanpur before graduating in commerce from a college in Chandigarh. He then cleared the Combined Defense Services Examination and joined the Indian Military Academy.
The mortal remains of martyr Major Dhochak were taken to his home in Panipat on Friday morning, from where the mortal remains were taken to his native village Binjhol in an army vehicle. The last rites of the martyred army officer were performed after a floral tribute ceremony and gun salute at Binjhol.
Martyr Major Dhochak’s last journey took about three hours to cover the eight kilometer stretch from his home in the city to his native Binjhol village as a large number of people stood by the roadside with teary eyes.
Apart from family members, senior army officers, villagers and people from nearby areas also attended the funeral of the martyred officer.
Major Dhochak’s family would move to their new home in Panipat in October. His family lived in an apartment building. Neighbors said they did not know he (Major Dhochak) would return in a casket wrapped in the tricolor.
People started gathering at Major Dhochak’s residence in Panipat from Friday morning to express their condolences. When his mortal remains were taken away, the mood turned somber.
As the final journey started from his home in Panipat to the village, a large number of school children stood on both sides of the road carrying the tricolor.
Colonel Singh, Major Dhochak, Commanding Officer of 19th Rashtriya Rifles, Deputy Superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir Police Humayun Bhat and a soldier were martyred in an encounter with terrorists in Garol area of Anantnag district on Wednesday morning.
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