Raigarh: Cries of 'Jai Hind' rend the air as a large number of people bid a final adieu to Colonel Viplav Tripathi, his wife and five-year-old son, who were killed in a militant attack in Manipur two days back, in their hometown Raigarh in Chhattisgarh on Monday.
The last rites of the colonel were held with full military and state honours while his wife and son were cremated and buried, respectively. The atmosphere turned more sombre when the colonel's grieving mother, Asha Tripathi (70), saluted the mortal remains of her son and chanted 'Jai Hind' after all his family members laid floral wreaths at coffins in the crematorium here.
Colonel Tripathi, the Commanding Officer of Khuga Battalion of the Assam Rifles, his wife Anuja (36), son Abeer (5) along four personnel of the paramilitary force were killed in an ambush by militants in the north-eastern state on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, a special plane of the Indian Air Force carrying mortal remains of the martyred colonel, his wife and son, landed at an airstrip in Raigarh at 12:42 pm. From the airstrip, the bodies, kept in coffins, were taken in an open flower-decked truck to Colonel Tripathi's home with a large number of people standing on both sides of the road chanting 'Colonel Viplav amar rahe'.
The mortal remains were kept at the Ramleela ground for the public to pay homage and from there the funeral procession was taken out to the crematorium near the circuit house. Personnel of Assam Rifles paid floral tributes and accorded a Guard of Honour to the departed colonel.
The mortal remains of Colonel Tripathi and his wife were consigned to flames while their son was buried at the crematorium. The colonel's younger brother, Anay Tripathi, who is also an Army officer and posted as Lieutenant Colonel in Shillong, lit the funeral pyre.
Chhattisgarh Higher Education Minister Umesh Patel, Raigarh BJP MP Gomti Sai, MLS and senior officials also paid floral tributes to the martyred colonel, his wife and son.
A spontaneous bandh was observed in Raigarh town. A large number of people turned up at Colonel Tripathi's house to pay tributes to him.
Colonel R S Thakur of the Assam Rifles, four other officers and 45 personnel, who reached Raigarh on Sunday evening, visited Colonel Tripathi's house to express condolences to the bereaved family members. Col Tripathi's father Subhash Tripathi is a senior journalist and editor of a local Hindi daily.
Colonel Tripathi was inspired by his freedom fighter grandfather Kishori Mohan Tripathi, who was also a member of the Constituent Assembly, a family member had said. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Kumaon Regiment in Ranikhet in 2001.
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