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Soldier Killed in Handwara Encounter in Kashmir Cremated, Col Ashutosh Sharma's Funeral on Tuesday

Wreath-laying ceremony of Indian soldiers who lost lives in Handwara encounter held. Photo/ ANI

Wreath-laying ceremony of Indian soldiers who lost lives in Handwara encounter held. Photo/ ANI

Naik Kumar, 28, joined the Army in 2010. He is survived by his parents, two brothers and two sisters, Mansa Deputy Commissioner G S Chahal said.

Naik Rajesh Kumar, who was killed in an anti-terror operation in north Kashmir, was cremated will full military honours at his home village in Punjab's Mansa district on Monday evening.

He was among the five security personnel who died Saturday night in an encounter in Handwara, an operation in which the Army also lost a colonel and a major. Both officers will be cremated on Tuesday.

Villagers in Rajrana near Sardulgarh chanted slogans like "Vande Mataram" and "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" as the soldier's body, wrapped in tricolor, was taken to the cremation ground.

His father Ram Kumar said he was proud of his son for laying down his life for the country.

Naik Kumar, 28, joined the Army in 2010. He is survived by his parents, two brothers and two sisters, Mansa Deputy Commissioner G S Chahal said.

Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann, MLA Nazar Singh Manshahia and district officials were present at the funeral.

Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, the commanding officer of 21 Rashtriya Rifles which was involved in the anti-terror operation, will be cremated in Jaipur on Tuesday.

The last rites of Major Anuj Sood will also be held Tuesday in Chandigarh, officials said.

Col Sharma's body arrived in Jaipur Monday by a special aircraft and was taken to the military hospital in a decorated army vehicle. Floral tributes were paid at the Chandigarh Air Force station as Major Sood's body arrived there.

Major Sood's father, Brigadier Chandrakant Sood (retd), told the media that the news of the death left him shocked, but at the same time he was proud of the supreme sacrifice the officer had made for his motherland.

"He was a true son of the nation," he said at his Panchkula home.

The body of Lance Naik Dinesh Singh, another soldier killed in the same operation, was expected to reach Uttarakhand's Almora on Tuesday, an official said.

The 25-year-old soldier was the son of ex-Army man Godhan Singh Gaira, a resident of Bhanauli village.