Thousands attended the funeral of Lance Naik Ghulam Mohiuddin Rather at his Punchpora village in Kashmir’s Anantnag, a rare sight for a fallen Indian soldier given the troubled past of the valley.
Mohiuddin, was one of the three soldiers of 44 Rashtriya Rifles martyred in a militant ambush at Mulu Chitragam in Kashmir’s Shopian district on February 23 when they were returning from an anti-terror operation near Kungnoo village. An old woman also lost her life in the ambush. Two officers were also wounded in the attack.
The huge turnout of mourners surprised the army officers and jawans who accompanied Rather’s mortal remains.His relatives were seen wailing and recollecting the time spent with him.
“He was a highly motivated and courageous soldier as well as a gentleman who upheld the best traditions of the army,” a senior officer told PTI.
Outside Lance Naik Rather’s house, A group of women were seen consoling his young weeping wife Shahzada Akhtar, 26 and his ailing mother. Women from the nearby villages walked to the slain soldier’s village Punchpora, around 55km from Srinagar. Some offered water to the wife of the slain soldier, others tried to cuddle his minor son.
Last month only, Mohiuddin celebrated the first birthday of his son. Aahil. Preparations were underway for the marriage of his sister also. “His sister was getting married next month and the family was gearing up for it. We wonder what will happen now,” Tribune India quoted a family member of the soldier over phone from the village.
Draped in tricolour, Moinuddin’s body was brought for the last rites on February 24, a pall of gloom descended on the locality. After the wreath laying ceremony at the Srinagar-based Corps Headquarter, which was attended by Army Chief Bipin Rawat, the mortals remains of Rather were taken to his house in a special vehicle.