Patna: The last rites of five Indian jawans, who were killed in an ambush by Pakistani soldiers on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir two nights ago, took place today in their native villages in the presence of army officers and thousands of mourners.
Four of the jawans who were from 21 Bihar Regiment, were given a state funeral. Their families have been given a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each.
The bodies of Sepoy Vijay Kumar Rai, 27, Lance Naik Shambhu Saran Singh, 29, Premnath Singh, 35, and Sepoy Raghunandan Prasad, 23 were brought home by special plane last night.
The fifth soldier killed in the attack, 36-year-old Naik Kundalik, was part of the 14 Maratha Light Infantry and was from Mane, Kolhapur in Maharashtra.
Large numbers of relatives, villagers and others gathered to bid farewell to the martyrs.
Prem Nath, Vijay Kumar and Shambhu Saran had been with the army for at least a decade and have young children.
23-year-old Raghunanadan Prasad had joined the army two years ago. In his last call to his family back in village Nautan, he had exulted about his fascination with life in the army.
"We are proud that he died serving the country...but like this?" said his uncle Tribhuwan Prasad. He explained that the family had a proud tradition of sending people to the army. Raghunandan's father, who was also in the army, died in 1992.
The jawans were on what is called an area domination patrol when 20 heavily armed Pakistanis attacked them at around 2 am. A sixth jawan has been seriously injured in the attack by the Pakistanis and is in a military hospital.
Army Chief General Bikram Singh paid tribute to the martyrs in Jammu on Wednesday morning.