February 13, 2017 9:52:07 pm
The mortal remains of Lance Naik Gopal Singh Bhadoria, martyred in a gun-battle with terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, were today consigned to flames here as thousands of grieving local residents and relatives bid a tearful adieu to the valiant soldier. Overcome by emotions, relatives of Bhadoria, who lit the funeral pyre, called for punishing Pakistan by launching another surgical strike against terror camps across the LoC. “Modiji carry out another surgical strike against Pakistan. Kill all terrorists in that country,” they were shouting. Waiving the tri-colour, thousands of mourners converged for the 33-year-old soldier’s last journey and shouted slogans denouncing Pakistan, and in praise of Indian Army.
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Earlier in the day, Bhadoria was given a guard of honour after his body arrived at the airport here in an Indian Air Force plane.
Several Army officials and leaders, including Gujarat Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja, were present at the airport. They paid floral respects to Bhadoria, whose mortal remains were kept at the airport for a while.
Later, the body was taken to the soldier’s residence in Bapunagar in eastern part of the city and from there to a public crematorium in the same area where his last rites were performed with state honours.
Thousands of people stood on both sides of the road on the jawan’s last journey, during which anti-Pakistan slogans rented the air amid surcharged atmosphere. Bapunagar observed a bandh as a mark of respect to the soldier.
Moved by Bhadoria’s martyrdom, several youths hit the road with the tricolour and shouted ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.
Bhadoria, along with Lance Naik Raghuvir Singh, was killed in the gunfight yesterday in Kulgam district in south Kashmir. Four terrorists were also shot dead in the encounter.
Bhadoria was awarded a medal for showing immense courage during the operation against terrorists who attacked Mumbai in 2008, his uncle Umeshsinh Bhadoria said.
“During the face-off with terrorists, Bhadoria, who was part of the NSG commando team, carried an injured soldier on his shoulder and shifted him out of the Taj Hotel amid heavy gunfire. He was awarded a medal by the Indian Army for this bravery,” he said.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the family of the martyred soldier and said a memorial will be built for him.
Bhadoria had his primary education at his maternal place Dabhoi in Vadodara district.
“Since his childhood, Gopal had made up his mind to join the Army. Though the financial condition of his family was not good, he was firm on joining the Army which he did after studying engineering at Nirma University,” his maternal uncle Jayswal Maheshwar said.
Talking to reporters, Jadeja said Bhadoria was truly a brave soldier.
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