Thousands of mourners on Thursday bid a tearful adieu to Major Kaustubh Rane, who was killed in Jammu and Kashmir during an operation to foil an infiltration bid.
Major Rane was cremated with full military honours at a crematorium in Mira Road township in the district around 12.30 pm.
Scores of mourners thronged Rane’s house in Shital Nagar area in Mira Road in the morning to catch the last glimpse.
The funeral procession started from his residence around 9.30 am. His body, kept in a casket draped in tricolour, was carried in a flower-bedecked truck. At a few junctions on the way, flowers were showered on the vehicle carrying the mortal remains.
When the procession reached the crematorium two hours later, chaos prevailed for some time due to a huge rush of mourners. People even climbed trees and stood on terraces of neighbouring buildings as well as on the compound wall of the crematorium to witness the funeral. Rane’s family members had to appeal to the people to maintain peace.
When the family members placed floral wreaths on his body, mourners shouted slogans like ‘Vande Mataram’, ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, ‘Major Kaustuch Rane Amar Rahe’.
His wife Kanika, who carried their two-and-a-half-year-old son Agastya in her arms, was inconsolable.
Before the martyr’s father lit the funeral pyre, a 21-gun salute was given.
Apart from local politicians, Army officers, including Lieutenant General Cherish Mathson general officer commanding-in-chief (GOC-in-C) of South Western Command, were present on the occasion.
Major Rane and three soldiers were killed while foiling an infiltration bid in north Kashmir’s Gurez sector.
At least two militants were gunned down in the operation.