JAMMU/ KATHUA, Feb 12: Amid chants of ‘Hamare Shaheed Amar Rahe’ and ‘Bhartiya Sena Zindabad’, the mortal remains of Havaldar Jugal Kishore, Sepoy Vishal Sharma and Sepoy Arun Kattal were consigned to flames with full military honours at their native villages in Khour Sub Division of Jammu and Lakhanpur area of Kathua district on Saturday.
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Havaldar Jugal Kishore, Sepoy Vishal Sharma and Sepoy Arun Kattal of the 19 JAK Rifles were martyred along with four other soldiers when they were caught in avalanche while they were part of patrol party in the high altitude area of Kameng sector of Arunachal Pardesh on February 6.
Vishal Sharma’s younger cousin, Nikhil Sharma performed his last rites at home village Chak Malal near Khour whereas Prithvi Raj Sharma, younger brother of martyr Havaldar Jugal Kishore performed his last rites at their home village Dager in Khour Sub Division of Akhnoor sector in district Jammu.
Their mortal remains reached by air in Jammu from where their bodies were brought to their native villages in a procession. People in towns and villages along the route gathered in large number and shouted slogans, “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”…, ” Hamaray Shaheed Amar Rahen” and “Vande Mataram”.
Banners and posters of martyrs were put up at several places and also in front of the decorated Army vehicles in which their mortal remains, wrapped in National Flag in coffins, were being carried.
Their families were eagerly waiting for the arrival of the bodies of their dear ones. The wailing family members and relating received the coffins wrapped in `Tri-colour’ and after conducting rituals performed the last rites. A large number of people from entire Khour/ Akhnoor area including Army and Civil officers and other ranks, attended their funeral which was performed with full Military honours.
Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Dr Raghav Langer, ADGP Mukesh Singh, SSP Mohan Lal Bhagat, BJP JKUT president Ravinder Raina, MP Jugal Kishore Sharma, ex-Minister Sham Lal Sharma, ex-MLA Rajeev Sharma, ex-MLA Krishan Lal Bhagat, former DyCM Tara Chand, DDC member Suresh Sharma and DDC member Bhushan Bral along with thousands others laid the wreath and paid tribute to the martyrs.
The mortal remains of Martyr Arun Kattal, hailing from village Jandore near Lakhanpur in Kathua arrived from Pathankote airbase decorated in a Military vehicle this afternoon. From Lakhanpur bridge a long cavalcade of bikers carrying tricolor escorted the vehicle of brave heart Arun Kattal. They were shouting slogans in the praise of martyr, Indian Army and Bharat Mata Ki Jai. Katal was married hardly three months back.
A pall of gloom descended the village, when the Arun’s body wrapped in tri-colour reached his home. A large number of women, children and elderly persons of the area besides relatives were waiting for the arrival since morning. They were expecting arrival for the last three days.
After performing last rites, the mortal remains of Martyr Arun Kattal were consigned to flames.
Union MoS, Dr Jitendra Singh who is also concerned MP paid floral tributes to the martyr and joined the funeral. He termed this tragic incident in Arunachal Pradesh as great loss to the country and expressed his sympathy with the bereaved family. He also assured all possible assistance to the family. DC Kathua Rahul Yadav, SSP RC Kotwal, DDC Chairman, Col Mahan Singh, GOC from Mamun Cantt, Ex-MP Ch Lal Singh, Ex-MLA Rajeev Jasrotia, MC Kathua and MC Lakhanpur presidents besides hundreds of people from all walks of life attended the funeral of the Martyr.
A Defence spokesman said that earlier, a wreath laying ceremony of Hav Jugal Kishore, Rfn Arun Kattal, Rfn Akshay Pathania, Rfn Vishal Sharma, Rfn Rakesh Singh, Rfn Ankesh Bhardwaj and Gnr (TA) Gurbaj Singh of Indian Army who made supreme sacrifice in the line of duty, was held at Tezpur Air Force Station this morning. General Officer Commanding, Gajraj Corps, Lt Gen Ravin Khosla and other military officials paid last respects to the bravehearts.
The mortal remains were taken by service aircraft to Pathankot and Jammu and further taken by road to their native places in the states of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and J&K UT.
The bravehearts were part of a patrol which was struck by an avalanche in the high altitude area of Kameng Sector in Arunachal Pradesh on February 6, 2022. Search and rescue operations were launched immediately including airlifting of specialised teams. The rescue teams, displaying highest degree of camaraderie and esprit-de-corps, recovered their fallen brothers under hostile weather conditions in an area located at an altitude of 14500 feet which has treacherous terrain and high peaks. The area of incident was witnessing heavy snowfall and inclement weather since last few days which made the rescue operations more challenging for the specialised teams tasked to locate and recover the bravehearts, the spokesman added.