New Delhi, Jan 29 (IANS) A tearful farewell was bid Thursday to Col. Munindra Nath Rai, with the top brass of the Army paying tributes to the braveheart who died fighting terrorists in Kashmir Jan 27.
A guard of honour was accorded to Col. Rai at the crematorium complex in Brar Square, Delhi Cantonment.
Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Philip Campose and other senior officers paid floral tributes to Col. Rai who was awarded a Yudh Seva Medal on Republic Day this year, a day before he was killed.
The army chief was also seen condoling Col. Rai’s family. He is survived by his wife and three children who were present at the cremation ground, bidding him a tearful adieu.
The Army Chief had Wednesday lauded the officer, saying he set an example of good leadership.
“He was a very brave officer… It is an example of leadership that the moment he got information about two terrorists in that area, he immediately went in with his team and some other people,” Suhag had said.
Col. Rai belonged to the 9 Gorkha Rifles, seconded to the Rashtriya Rifles. He was commanding his soldiers in the encounter with the militants in Pulwama district of Kashmir when he was killed.
Army officials said Col. Rai was approached by the father and brother of one of the guerrillas with an offer of surrender.
While Rai was hearing them out, the terrorists burst onto the scene firing indiscriminately.
The slain militants were identified as Abid Ahmad Khan and Shiraz Ahmad Dar of Hizbul Mujaheedin.
Head Constable Sanjeevan Singh of the Jammu and Kashmir Police also died in Tuesday’s gunfight.