Thousands of mourners gathered here as the mortal remains of gunner Saurabh Farate, who was killed in the Pampore attack on Saturday, were on Monday consigned to flames at his native place in Phursungi with full military honours.
Member of Parliament from Pune Anil Shirole and local leaders were among those who paid tributes to the martyr.
As soon as Saurabh’s last journey began from his house, slogans like ‘Saurabh Farate Amar Rahe’ and ‘Jab Tak Suraj Chand Rahega, Saurabh Tera Naam Rahega’ rent the air.
The 33-year-old gunner, who served the Indian Army for 13 years, is survived by parents, wife, twin daughters and a brother, who too is in the Army.
According to Saurabh’s father Nandkumar Farate, his son had come on a two-month leave in October to celebrate the first birthday of his twins and had left in December.
He said that before leaving for duty on Saturday morning, Saurabh had spoken on telephone with the family.
“On Saturday, I received a call from his unit. However, the person on the other side gave incomplete information and only informed us that Saurabh was shot,” said the bereaved father.
“I then called up my younger son, Rohit, who too works in the Army in Jammu and informed him about the call. It was he who informed us about his (Saurabh’s) martyrdom.”
Three soldiers including Saurabh were killed in a militant attack on an army convoy at Pampore on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway on Saturday.