Thane, Aug 09: The mortal remains of major Kaustubh P Rane (29) who died in a gunfight with terrorists near the Line of Control (LoC) in Bandipura district of Jammu & Kashmir on Tuesday was cremated with full state honours at his native town, Mira Road here on Thursday afternoon.
A stoic Prakash Rane lit the funeral pyre of his slain son, while his daughter-in-law Kanika and minor grandson Agastya stood behind, amidst cries of 'Major Kaustubh Rane Amar Rahe, and Vande Mataram.'
A military band played the last post, armymen, police officials, local dignitaries and elected representatives offered their last respects to the Major before the funeral pyre was lit and thousands of teary-eyed people, many who turned up various neighbouring towns, bid a silent farewell to the hero.
Earlier today, Major Rane’s coffin, draped in the national Tricolour, arrived was brought to the town in an army truck where it was solemnly received by Rane's grieving family members, Army and civilian officials. It was flown to Mumbai late on Wednesday from Srinagar.
On Wednesday, Education Minister Vinod Tawde laid a wreath on behalf of the government while opposition Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam and others paid homage to the departed soldier.
As the funeral cortege wend its way through Mira Road today, thousands of emotional onlookers lined the roads on both sides or waited on building tops and terraces, showered flowers on the coffin, waved the Indian flag and many women wept.
Since Tuesday, the Mira Road township was in mourning over the death of their hero, who lived over 25 years in Sheetal Nagar area, barely five km north of Mumbai.
Large parts of the town observed a spontaneous shutdown as a mark of respect as the funeral procession journeyed from the Rane home in Sheetal Nagar to the Mira-Bhayander Crematorium. (UNI)