BIJBEHARA (KASHMIR): In a rare outpouring of grief for a fallen soldier in strife-torn Kashmir, thousands of civilians today bid a tearful adieu to Lance Naik Ghulam Mohiuddin Rather, who was killed in an ambush by militants yesterday.
Little did the people know what fate had in store for the valiant soldier when he left his home at Marhama Mohalla in Bijbehara of south Kashmir last month after celebrating the birthday of his son Aahil, who had turned one.
Today, when his body, draped in tricolour, was brought for the last rites, a pall of gloom descended on the locality.
34-year-old Rather, who was killed in an ambush by Hizbul Mujahideen militants in Shopian district yesterday, was part of the 4-Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry and posted with 44 Rashtriya Rifles, a counter-insurgency force carved from various army units. Two other soldiers and a civilian woman were also killed in the encounter, which took place barely 25 kilometres from his home.
His wailing wife Shahzada Akhter and grieving relatives received the body.
The huge turnout of mourners surprised the army officers and jawans who accompanied Rather’s mortal remains. (AGENCIES)