Nation unites in paying rich tribute to Pathankot martyrs

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Ambala/Bengaluru/Shimla, Jan 4: Some held their tears while others were inconsolable as coffins of security personnel killed in Pathankot terror strike reached home today for last rites, which were performed with full military honours.

Breaking the tradition, the daughters of two slain officers gave shoulder to their father's coffin.

Nation pays tribute to Pathankot martyrs

Slogans of 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' rent the air as the body of Garud commando Gursewak Singh, draped in the tricolour, reached his native Garnala village near Ambala, while the family members of the young Sikh, who was married in November, were inconsolable.

[Pics: Pathankot attack: Martyr's family and friends recall days with Lt Col Niranjan]

Haryana Ministers Anil Vij and Abhimanyu were present to pay tributes along with senior officers from the Air Force, besides personnel from the army, police and civil administration.

The body of Lt Colonel EK Niranjan, a bomb expert with the National Security Guard who was killed while defusing a grenade at the scene of the terror attack at Pathankot IAF base, was brought to Bengaluru from where it was to be taken to his hometown Palakkad in Kerala.

Teary-eyed people filed past the body as the martyr's family members sat near it.

"He was always interested in the army. I am proud of his sacrifice," Niranjan's father Sivarajan said.

Niranjan's sister said, "I look at him as Arjuna who fought for his karmabhoomi."

He hailed from Palakkad in Kerala and is survived by his wife Dr Radhika and a 18-month-old daughter. Fellow army officers and many prominent and eminent personalities paid tributes to the martyr at his residence.

Thirty two-year-old Niranjan, whose family stays in Bangalore, was commissioned in the Engineers Regiment of the Army in 2004.

Niranjan, head of the elite bomb squad of the NSG, was killed while defusing an IED at Pathankot IAF base, yesterday. He was among seven security personnel killed in the terrorist attack there.

In Gurdaspur, Punjab, scores of mourners gathered at the house of Subedar Fateh Singh, 51, a shooter who had won Commonwealth medals. Singh's daughter Madhu joined the soldiers in carrying the body to the cremation ground.

"What my father has done today, I don't think anything can match it. I am proud of my father," Madhu said.

"We were at the air base when the attack took place," she said.

Singh's wife, daughter and son had come to visit him. Before leaving the quarters, Singh told his wife that he was going to get some documents signed after which they would go home.

"My father snatched the gun from that man and shot him," she said.

PTI 

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