Punjab Families Bid Farewell To Soldiers Killed In Line Of Duty In Ladakh

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Punjab Families Bid Farewell To Soldiers Killed In Line Of Duty In Ladakh

Naib Subedar Mandeep Singh's pyre was lit by Jobanpreet Singh (10) in Patiala's Seel village.

Patiala/Gurdaspur:

Two Punjab soldiers who died fighting the Chinese in Galwan Valley were cremated Thursday at their home villages, their young children - in one case a 10-year-old - lighting the funeral pyres.

Naib Subedar Mandeep Singh's pyre was lit by Jobanpreet Singh (10) in Patiala's Seel village. In Gurdasdpur's Bhojraj village, it fell on 16-year-old Prabhjot Singh to perform the last rites of his father, Naib Subedar Satnam Singh.

Four of the 20 soldiers who died in the clash in Ladakh's Galwan Valley on Monday were from Punjab. The bodies of sepoys Gurbinder Singh (Sangrur) and Gurtej Singh (Mansa) are expected to reach their villages on Friday, officials said.

As the body of Mandeep Singh arrived, his son Jobanpreet Singh, 15-year-old daughter Mehakpreet Kaur, wife Gurdeep Kaur and mother Shakuntala offered a salute.

People shouted slogans like 'Shaheed Amar Rahe' and ''Bharat Mata Ki Jai'' when the body of the 39-year-old soldier, wrapped in the tricolour, reached Seel.

Villagers holding the national flag showered flower petals on the military vehicle.

Punjab minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Akali Dal MLA Harinderpal Singh Chandumajra and officers from the Army, police and civil administration paid homage to the fallen soldier, who was cremated with full military honours.

Mandeep Singh, who joined the Army in 1997, had reported back to his unit only about two weeks ago after a month's leave.

Heartrending scenes were also witnessed in Naib Subedar Satnam Singh''s village in Gurdaspur district.

Family members including his wife Jaswinder Kaur, daughter Sandeep Kaur (17), son Prabhjot Singh (16), mother Jasbir Kaur and father Jagir Singh were inconsolable.

A large number of mourners assembled at the family''s home, where emotions ran high.

Before the arrival of body, Jasbir Kaur and Jaswinder Kaur said they were proud of Satnam Singh''s sacrifice for the nation.

His mother said Satnam Singh (41) had always wanted to don the uniform and hold a rifle.

Answering a question, she sought the severest punishment for China. "It''s not just one mother crying, there are many others," she said.

The soldier''s son Prabhjot Singh (16) lit the funeral pyre.

Punjab cabinet minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, other politicians and officers from the armed forces, police and district administration paid tributes to the soldier, who had joined the Army in 1995.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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