The temple town of Pandharpur in Solapur district of Maharashtra is not new to large gatherings of people. But the one on Thursday was different from others as a sea of people came together to pay homage to the officer who laid down his life. Major Kunal Gosavi (33) was among the Army men killed in the terrorist attack on the Army camp at Nagrota in the early hours of Tuesday. His last rites were performed at the family’s native village, Wakhari, near Pandharpur. Major Kunal’s five-year-old daughter, Umang, lit the funeral pyre in the presence of family members, relatives, friends and thousands of others who had come from Pandharpur and surrounding areas.
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Major Kunal’s mortal remains were flown to Delhi from Jammu on Wednesday night, and from Delhi to Pune on Thursday morning. After a wreath-laying ceremony at Lohegaon technical air base in Pune, the remains were flown to Pandharpur by helicopter. The funeral procession started from the Gosavi family’s house in Pandharpur at around 12.30 pm. After going around the Vitthal Rakhumai temple, the procession reached Wakhari village at around 4 pm.
The last rites were performed on the Gosavi family’s farm in Wakhari. Major Kunal is survived by father Munnagir, mother Vrunda, wife Uma, daughter Umang and two elder brothers. Many of his friends from Kawathekar High School in Pandharpur and Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce in Pune were present. Prakash Shelar, a resident of Pandharpur who attended the funeral said, “Because they are a prominent business family, I have heard about the Gosavis. I do not know them personally. But after I heard the news of his death, I wanted to pay my respect to him and to his family for their sacrifice.”
Meanwhile, in Janapuri village of Loha Tehsil of Nanded district, the last rites of another soldier, Lance Naik Sambhaji Kadam, were performed on Thursday. Kadam was also killed in the Nagrota attack. His body was flown to Nanded from Delhi via Nagpur. Hailing from a farmer family, Lance Naik Kadam (33) is survived by father Yashwant, mother Lata, wife Sheetal and daughter Tejaswini.