Holding back his tears, Havaldar Sanjeevan Rana’s father Rattan Singh, himself an ex-servicemen, said his son’s supreme sacrifice for the nation while fighting terrorists will not go to waste.
“Let Indian government muster the courage and give a befitting reply to the terrorists’ country (Pakistan). Jab tak Pakistan ko eent ka wajib pathar se nahin diya jayega, hamare jawan shaheed hote rahenge ( Till Pakistan is not given a befitting reply, Indian jawans will keep attaining martyrdom like this,” he said
Rana was cremated in his village Sehwan, near Shahpur in Kangra district.
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The bodies of two Himachal Pradesh martyrs Rana, 50, and Jagdish Chand, 58, of village Basa Gola in Siyunta area of Chamba district were consigned to flames with full state honours today after the Army and Airforce brought the bodies wrapped in tricolour to their native place. Both were retired army personnel and were serving as Defence Security Core at the Pathankot airforce base station. Jagdish Chand, who was transferred to Pathankot from Leh only few days ago, had killed one terrorist by snatching his weapon before other militants gunned him down.
Transport minister G S Bali and Col (Rtd) Dhani Ram Shandil were flown from Shimla in a government helicopter to attend the cremation of the Jawans. People numbering in hundreds bade a tearful adieu to the gallant jawans as Shubam, son of Sanjeevan Rana, performed the last rites. A pall of gloom descended on the area and slogans of ‘Bharat Mata Ki jai’ rent the air.
“I have also fought three wars against Pakistan. But my son has outdid me by making a supreme sacrifice. It’s a rare act of heroism and his sacrifice will be remembered. I also feel equally proud for other martyrs who gave their blood to Bharat Mata to protect its dignity and honour. I will send my grandson to the Indian army,” Rattan Singh said.
Equally gloomy scenes were witnessed at Basa Gola village where body of Jagdish Chand was consigned to flames with full state and military honour. Forest minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri, Deputy Commissioner Chamba M Sudha Devi and Local SP were among the hundreds who paid tribute to the martyr.
“We are a family of soldiers. Of four brothers, three are serving/and had served the Indian army. Our father was also ex-armymen. It’s a loss to the family but I think with his (Jagdish) sacrifice, nation has gained a pride. He (Jagdish) killed a terrorist before his martyrdom, is not a small thing,” says Budhi Singh, his brother and a retired armymen.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh expressed grief over the death of two soldiers from Himachal Pradesh and announced a financial assistance of Rs 20 lakh to the families.
“Hav Sanjeevan Rana and Hav Jagdish Chand sacrificed their lives for maintaining the unity, integrity and security of the nation. Brave soldiers of Himachal Pradesh had always made supreme sacrifices for sake of the country,” the chief minister said.
State Governor Acharya Devvrat has also expressed grief over the tragedy. During Kargil war, Himachal Pradesh had lost 52 soldiers, 15 of them were from Kangra. Capt Vikram Batra and Sepoy Sanjay Kumar were conferred Paramvir Chakras for their bravery and valour during the war.