Major Anuj Sood, who was killed in an anti-militancy operation in Kashmir, was cremated in Chandigarh on Tuesday, his family offering a touching farewell to the officer who they said dreamt to be in the Army while growing up.
His wife Akriti Sood threw her arms around the coffin as it was being put on an Army vehicle bedecked with flowers, for the short journey from the family’s Panchkula home to the Mani Majra cremation ground in adjacent Chandigarh.
The photos Akriti mourning her husband drew an emotional response on social media.
The photos showed Akriti, next to the coffin, staring silently, but intently, at her husband in sheer grief. The heart-wrenching photos left many emotional on social media.
His sister Harshita, who is also an Army officer, consoled her sister-in-law.
The 30-year-old officer was among the five security personnel killed in a firefight with terrorists in north Kashmir’s Handwara on Saturday night.
Slogans like “Vande Mataram”, “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Major Anuj Amar Rahe”, were raised as his body, wrapped in the tricolour, was taken to the cremation ground.
Before the cremation with full military honours, serving and retired Army officers laid wreaths.
As he placed a wreath Anti Terrorist Front of India president Viresh Shandilya raised “Pakistan Murdabad” and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” slogans.
Apart from Army personnel, only the family members were allowed inside the cremation ground to ensure social distancing norms in force because of the coronavirus pandemic.
A guard of honour was given to Major Sood by the Army and soldiers fired three volleys in a gun salute.
Major Sood’s father Brigadier Chandrakant Sood (retd) lit the pyre. He had told the media the day before that he was proud of his son’s sacrifice.
“He was a true son of the nation," he said at his Panchkula home.
Major Anuj Sood was from the Brigade of the Guards regiment, now part of the 21 Rashtriya Rifles.
He joined the National Defence Academy in 2008. He had one dream, which was to join the Army, according to his family.
His family said the officer was scheduled to return home after a gap of six months. Having finished his two-year stint in Jammu and Kashmir, he was to join the 12 Guards unit in Gurdaspur.
(With PTI Inputs)
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