BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Saturday bid a tearful adieu to its CRPF jawans Prasanna Kumar Sahu and Manoj Kumar Behera, who were killed in the Pulwama terror attack, with thousands paying homage to them.
Their mortal remains were consigned to flames with full state honours in their respective villages in the presence of several dignitaries, including Union and state ministers, and senior officials.
The jawans from Odisha were among the 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel killed in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday when a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district.
Sahu’s funeral was held at his village in Naugaon area of Jagatsinghpur district and the last rites of Behera were performed at Ratanpur in Niali block of Cuttack district.
Slogans lile “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Shahid Amar Rahe” filled the air as the bodies of Sahu and Behera reached their villages. Several people paid their last respects.
After the martyrs’ coffins, draped in the tri-colour, arrived in the state capital earlier in the day, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Jual Oram, state ministers and a host of dignitaries joined the masses in paid homage to the brave jawans.
The chief minister paid floral tributes by placing a wreath after the bodies arrived at the Biju Patnaik International Airport, where scores of people had converged to offer their last respects to the jawans.
Odisha Congress president Niranjan Patnaik, BJP state president Basant Panda, and senior CRPF, police and other officials were among those who paid homage at the airport.
A large number of people belonging to different spheres of life had assembled at the airport to pay homage to the two CRPF jawans after their bodies were flown in here by a special aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
As the bodies were taken in processions in special flower-bedecked vehicles, Union minister Pradhan and Odisha’s Finance Minister S B Behera joined the last journey of Sahu, while Oram and State Health Minister Pratap Jena were with Behera’s body to attend their funeral.
People lined up on both sides of the road to bid adieu to the jawans as the special vehicles carrying their mortal remains moved out of the airport.
All along the route of the two processions, a large number of people carrying the national flag and raising patriotic slogans had gathered to pay homage to the jawans.
The administration in Cuttack and Jagatsinghpur districts had made all necessary arrangements for the funeral of the two CRPF men.
Collectors and senior police and other officials were present during the funeral.
Soon after the bodies of the slain jawans reached here, the state government announced an enhanced ex gratia to Rs 25 lakh to each for their families. The state has handed over the amount to the jawans’ families.
The government had on Friday announced Rs 10 lakh as ex-gratia, which was enhanced on Saturday after some criticism.
It had said it will bear the education cost of the children of the slain jawans.
“The martyrs’ villages will be made model panchayats and the schools they went to would be named after them,” a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office said.
Earlier on the day, thousands of school and college students along with their teachers observed a two-minute silence as a mark of respect to the CRPF jawans martyred in the terror attack at Pulwama. (PTI)
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