Five martyrs cremated with full state honours in Bihar, Maharashtra

Patna, Aug.8 (ANI): Full state honours were accorded to the five martyred Indian Army soldiers on Thursday, two days after they were killed in an ambush by Pakistani soldiers on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

A Guard of Honour was given to all five soldiers ahead of their cremation in their respective villages.

As the pyres were lit, villagers shouted anti-Pakistan slogans and called on the Indian Government to take tough retaliatory action.

Four of the five soldiers martyred were from the 21 Bihar Regiment. Coffins carrying their bodies were brought to Patna at 10 p.m. last night in a special Air Force plane.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had earlier announced a state funeral for the four martyrs along with a compensation of Rs. 10 lakh each for their families, which have refused to take compensation and demanded action against Pakistan.

Sepoy Vijay Kumar Rai, 27, of Bihta in rural Patna, Lance Naik Shambhu Saran Singh, 29, from Bhojpur, Naik Premnath Singh, 35, and Sepoy Raghunandan Prasad, 23, from Chhapra were deployed on the Sarla forward post in Chakan-Da-Bagh sector of Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir.

The fifth soldier killed in the attack, 36-year-old Naik Pundalik Mane, was part of the 14 Maratha Light Infantry and was from Pimpalgaon in Maharashtra's Kolhapur District.

Sepoy Vijay Kumar Rai was cremated at Samhauta village in Bihar's Saran district, while Premnath's last rites were performed at his village Bihta in Patna District.

Shambhu Saran Ray's funeral rites were performed in Jagdishpur in Bihar's Ara District.

Prem Nath, Vijay Kumar and Shambhu Saran had been part of the Indian Army for at least a decade and have young children.

Raghunanadan Prasad, 23, had joined the army two years ago.

The mortal remains of Naik Kundalik Mane were consigned to flames with full military honours at his native village Pimpalgaon in Kolhapur district of western Maharashtra.

Hundreds of people gathered at the cremation ground to pay their homage to the 36-year-old soldier. Cries of "Bharat Mata ki Jai" filled the air as the gun salute reverberated before the funeral pyre was lit.

Earlier, military officers, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil, BJP leader Gopinath Munde paid their tributes by laying floral wreaths on Mane's body.

Earlier, Southern Command officers had paid their respects to the martyr when the body arrived at Pune airport from Delhi late last night before being transported to Kolhapur by road. (ANI)