The last rites of Major Ketan Sharma, who was martyred in Anantnag of Jammu and Kashmir during an encounter with terrorists, were performed with full state honours on Tuesday evening.
People of the city bid adieu to the brave son of the city with tears in their eyes and respect for the supreme sacrifice of Major Ketan Sharma. Major Sharma is survived by his parents Ravindra and Usha Sharma, wife Ira, and four-year-old daughter Kiara.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Army Chief General Bipin Rawat paid floral tributes to the martyr in Delhi before he was brought to his home town Meerut.
The mortal remains of Major Sharma were brought to his parental house in Shradha Puri area of the city in the afternoon where people thronged in to catch a last glimpse of the hero.
People paid floral tributes to the martyr and raised slogans of “Shahid Ketan Sharma Amar rahein” and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”. The final journey of the martyr started from his residence and after covering a distance of about 10 km reached Suraj Kund. People kept on joining the procession on the way.
Major Sharma was cremated with full military honours in the presence of the officials of the Indian Army, district administration and police. Besides his unit, Sugar Cane Minister in UP government Suresh Rana, District Magistrate Anil Dhingra, and SSP Nitin Tiwari were present.
Major Sharma had joined the Army’s Sikh Light Infantry as a Lieutenant in 2012 after passing out from the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun. He had joined the Army through CDS. He was transferred to Anantnag about two years back. He joined 19 Rashtriya Rifles (Sikh Light Infantry) as part of the counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
Ketan had returned to Anantnag on 26 May after a month’s leave, told his inconsolable father Ravindra Sharma, adding that Ketan, the eldest of the two siblings, always wanted to join the Indian Army since his childhood and he supported him in the culmination of this dream.
31-year-old Major Sharma got married to Ira of Delhi six years back. They were soon blessed with a daughter whom they named Kiara, which includes names of both the parents.
Though four-year-old Kiara is too young to comprehend the supreme sacrifice of her father, she paid her tribute in her own way by saluting her father. His wife, sister, and mother are in a state of trauma. His mother is repeatedly asking “where is my brave son” as she has yet to come to terms that her son is no more.
Major Sharma was killed in an encounter with terrorists in Anantnag on Monday in which two other soldiers were injured. Two terrorists were killed by the Major while the third, in his bid to escape, fired on him which proved to be fatal for the braveheart.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced Rs 25 lakh, a government job to a family member, and a road will be named after him.