Dressed like a bride as per local traditions, Savitri (25) sat in the living room in front of her husband’s coffin, draped in the Tricolour, at the family’s three-room house in Dhewa village of Kangra district. Her elder son Varun (3) in a corner and her 24-day-old boy Vivaan crying uncontrollably, Savitri fainted each time she looked at Tilak Raj’s face.
As the body of Tilak Raj (30), a CPRF constable who was killed in the Pulwama attack on Thursday, reached his village Saturday morning, hundreds of local residents and people from nearby villages gathered at the family’s house to pay their last respects.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur also visited Dhewa to pay tribute. Speaking to Tilak’s father Layak Ram (60), mother Bimla (55), Savitri, and other family members, Thakur said, “We (BJP government) will support your family. We will give you all the assistance you require.”
Thakur took part in Tilak’s last journey, walking over 2 km from the slain CPRF constable’s house, amid chants of “Shaheed Tilak Raj amar rahe (Long live martyr Tilak Raj)” and “Pakistan murdabad”.
Tilak’s last rites were performed with full state honours. The funeral pyre was lit by his elder brother Baldev (32), who works as a salesman in Chandigarh.
Thakur said the state government would give a government job to Tilak’s wife besides Rs 20 lakh as financial assistance to the family. “The attack was a cowardly act. The nation will give a befitting reply to Pakistan,” he said.
Also in attendance were Union Health Minister J P Nadda, Kangra MP Shanta Kumar, state Food and Civil Supplies Minister Kishan Kapoor, Health Minister Vipin Singh Parmar, BJP MLAs Rakesh Pathania and Arjun Singh, and former MP Kripal Parmar. Congress leaders Sudhir Sharma, Ajay Mahajan and Chander Kumar were also present.