Maha village bids emotional farewell to martyred Army jawan

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Pune, Nov 16 (PTI) Amid slogans hailing him, hundreds of villagers and family members bid a tearful farewell to martyred Army jawan Rushikesh Jondhale as his mortal remains were consigned to flames at his native place in Maharashtra's Kolhapur district on Monday.

The body of Jondhale (20), who was killed on Friday during cross-LoC firing by Pakistani soldiers at Gurez in Jammu and Kashmir, was brought to Pune in an Indian Air Force plane on Sunday and then taken to his native village Bahirewadi in Ajra tehsil of neighbouring Kolhapur.

The soldier is survived by his parents and sister.

On Monday morning, hundreds of residents of the Bahirewadi village took part in his final journey.

Amid chants of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' and 'Rushikesh Amar Rahein' by emotional villagers, the jawan's mortal remains were cremated with full military honours.

Jondhale joined the Indian Army in December 2018 and completed his training at Belgaum.

His father Ramchandra Jondhale earlier said the jawan had come home on leave before the coronavirus-induced lockdown came into force. He was on leave till April 1.

However, due to the lockdown, he had to stay at home and could resume duty only in June.

On Wednesday, Rushikesh Jondhale spoke to his mother on phone, his father had told PTI.

He was among the four Army personnel killed during cross-LoC firing by Pakistani soldiers in Gurez and Uri sectors of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday.

A BSF sub-inspector and six civilians were also killed in the multiple ceasefire violations by Pakistan. PTI SPK GK GK