A small tent was put up outside the house of slain CRPF constable Pradeep Kumar in his village, Benat, in Shamli district of western UP. The body arrived from Ghaziabad around 6.30 am on Saturday, and as the vehicle made its way into the village’s lanes, there were slogans of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” by the crowd – in hundreds even in the morning hour.
As the wails around his inconsolable wife, Sharmishtha, grew louder, a villager brought out a Tricolour and kept waiving it, even while sobbing. “Someone has to do something about it. These bodies cannot be in vain… What was the family’s fault,” asked Rajendra, a local resident.
Through the day, many officers from the administration such as the District Magistrate, Sub-Divisional Magistrate and others visited the family. Around 4 pm, Pradeep’s brothers lit the funeral pyre on a ground in the village, as hundreds chanted his name.
About 4 km away, another family was living its nightmare. Police had been deployed outside Amit Kumar’s house in Railpar Colony, as many people had gathered the previous night demanding a memorial for him. Inside, his mother Urmila, along with his four brothers, waited for the remains of her youngest child.
“These terrorists are so few in number…. I am ready to go on the border — not just me, all his brothers,” Amit’s brother Arjun said. The coffin arrived around 7 am. The funeral, later in the day, was attended by Ghaziabad MP and Union MoS V K Singh, UP minister Suresh Rana and VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi, among others. “Time has come for war. The date for war with Pakistan should be set before the date of elections,” Sadhvi Prachi said.