The last rites of Sepoy Hari Singh, who was killed in an encounter with militants in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, were performed at his native village here on Tuesday with full military honours. Singh's body, draped in the tricolour, was brought in a bedecked army vehicle to his native village Rajgarh as a large number of people paid their last respects to the jawan who laid down his life on Monday in an encounter in Pinglan area of Pulwama.
Among those who paid their last respects to the slain soldier included senior officers from the Army and civil administration, Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh and Haryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma. Hari Singh was given a gun salute by the army, which sounded the last post. Villagers, many of whom were holding the tricolour, kept chanting patriotic and anti-Pakistan slogans.
"We demand that our government should give a befitting reply to Pakistan, which has been aiding and abetting terrorism in our country. It is also clear who was behind the attack on CRPF convoy in Kashmir. We need to avenge the sacrifices made by our soldiers," a village youth said. Notably, a large number of youth from Hari Singh's village are serving in the Indian Army. Three Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists were killed in a fierce 16-hour encounter in Pulwama on Monday, in which an Army major and four security forces personnel lost their lives.
The 26-year-old Hari Singh, a Sepoy of the Rashtriya Rifles, is survived by his mother, wife, and a 10-month-old son. He had joined the Army in 2011 and was inducted in the 20th batallion of Army's Grenadier regiment. His father Agadi Singh had too served in the Army. Villagers recalled that Hari Singh was passionate about the Indian Army right from his early childhood. He had started preparing to join the force after passing his matriculation examination, a local said. The villagers said Hari Singh had received an appreciation letter from his commanding officer recently for arresting two LeT terrorists in Kashmir.
(With inputs from agencies.)