Aizawl, Dec 2 (UNI) The mortal remains of Mizo jawans, who sacrificed their lives in naxal-dominated Chhattisgarh, were brought home to their family and loved ones at Lengpui Airport late yesterday.
A large number of government officials, relatives and friends of the deceased, politicians and media persons welcomed the martyrs back home, amidst tears and sobs.
As soon as the Indian Air Force flight landed on the runway, the selected police personnel brought the Tricolour-wrapped coffins out and placed them before the crowd, amidst a melancholy tune played by the police band and a state salute. People were seen wearing Puandum (Mizo funeral cloth) as they paid their last tributes to the heroes.
Chief Minister Zoramthanga and his wife, Home Minister Tawnluia, Governor Lt Gen(Retd) MM Lakhera, Deputy Speaker Lalrinsanga, some ministers of the state, both Ruling and Opposition MLAs, political party leaders and NGOs and police officers laid floral tribute on the coffins of the dead warriors.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said, ''We salute and mourn these Mizo warriors, who had sacrificed their lives for the cause of peace and harmony of our country. We deeply mourn with their relatives and wish them God's blessings.'' He also assured the bereaved families of the jawans an ex-gratia package from the Mizoram and Chhattisgarh governments, including insurance of about Rs 10 lakh from each state.
''The Mizoram government and the people of Mizoram accorded a hero's welcome to the Mizo warriors,'' Home Minister Tawnluia said.
He also guaranteed all possible assistances from the Central and the state governments to the bereaved families.
In addition, Mizoram DGP Lalrokhuma Pachuau who also delivered a funeral speech, announced a package of Rs 50,000 plus Rs 25,000 from the Mizoram police department to commemorate the dead Mizo jawans.
Second IR battalion commandant C Lalnunmawia, who accompanied the dead jawans from Chhattisgarh, gave detailed reports of how the incident took place. He also conveyed a condolence message from Chhattisgarh Home Minister Ram Vichal Nitam, the Chhattisgarh DGP and 2nd IR Battalion personnel to the bereaved families.