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Shock, anger and respect were the prevailing emotions as the bodies of two of the army soldiers killed in the Uri terror attack were flown in to the city on Monday.
Sombre senior army officials, jawans (soldiers) of the Eastern Command, and teary-eyed relatives of the martyrs were present at the NSC Bose International Airport here when the coffins carrying the mortal remains of Sepoys Gangadhar Dolui and Biswajit Garai were flown in by the aircraft C 130 on Monday evening.
Senior army officials laid wreaths as soldiers saluted their martyred colleagues.
Dolui hailed from Jamuna Balia village in Howrah district, while Garai was a resident of South 24 Parganas district’s Ganga Sagar.
The bodies were then sent to the Command Hospital for the night.
On Tuesday morning, the remains of Sepoy Dolui would be sent by road to reach Howrah by around 5 a.m.
The body of Sepoy Ghorai will be brought to the airport by 9 a.m. from where it will be flown by a special IAF helicopter to Ganga Sagar.
At both places, the ceremonial funeral will be conducted by army, a defence ministry spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, parents of Sepoy Dolui have demanded justice and strict punishment for the perpetrators, amid an all-pervading gloom at Jamuna Balia village.
“I demand justice and strict punishment for those who killed my son,” Doluia’s mother said.
“I can’t believe that my son is no more,” she said.
His father said Dolui, 22, had hardly completed a year with the army.
“He was the sole breadwinner in my family. How are we going to survive now,” Onkar Nath Dolui said.
“We strongly condemn the terrorist attack at Uri. Indian government should take stern steps so that such incidents do not happen again,” he said.