Martyr Mandeep cremated, no Diwali in village

Kurukshetra:The mortal remains of Indian Army soldier Mandeep Singh, whose body was mutilated by terrorists near the Line of Control (LoC), were consigned to flames in his native village in Haryana’s Kurukshetra district with full military honours on Sunday.

Mandeep, a sepoy of the 17th Sikh regiment, was killed in an encounter with terrorists in Machhil sector of Kupwara area of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday night. He hailed from Antehri village in Kurukshetra district, about 100 km from Chandigarh.

His body was brought to Ambala on Saturday and was handed over to his family on Sunday.

Residents of Mandeep’s village said that no Diwali would be celebrated in the village as a mark of respect to the martyr. Antehri village is known for sending men to the forces.

“We are proud of the sacrifice of our son. Pakistan must be taught a lesson for its inhuman actions,” Mandeep’s father Phool Singh said.

Mandeep, who was married in 2014, leaves behind his widow, Prerna, who is a constable in the Haryana Police, and parents.

“Our government should take decisive action to finish Pakistan. We cannot let our soldiers die like this,” an inconsolable Prerna told the media.

The Indian Army, in an official statement on Saturday, said the soldier’s body was “mutilated” and added that it would retaliate with an “appropriate response”.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar described Mandeep’s killing as a cowardly act by the terrorists. The Chief Minister said that a financial assistance of Rs 50 lakh would be given to the next of kin.

This is not the first time that Pakistan has mutilated the bodies of Indian soldiers.

During the Kargil war in 1999, Captain Saurabh Kalia, Sepoys Arjunram Baswana, Mula Ram Bidiasar, Naresh Singh Sinsinwar, Bhanwar Lal Bagaria and Bhika Ram Mudh of 4 Jat Regiment were captured by Pakistani troops and brutally tortured.

The soldiers had their ear drums pierced with hot iron rods, eyes punctured and genitals cut off. The autopsy of the bodies also revealed that they were burned with cigarettes butts. Their limbs were also chopped off, teeth broken and skull fractured during the torture. Even their nose and lips were sliced off.

In another incident, on January 8, 2013, Pakistani soldiers entered Indian territory in Krishna Ghati sector of the border and killed two Indian soldiers – Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh. Indian officials said both the bodies were mutilated, and Hemraj’s body was decapitated.