The Heroes of Kargil - A Tribute

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Shaheed Grenadier Manohar Lal

Relatives’ wait for grenadier’s body ends in disappointment 

Twenty-five-year-old Grenadier Manohar Lal’s relatives had come all the way from Fatehabad, Haryana, to witness the ceremonial Guard of Honour being accorded to him for his sacrifice in the battle for Tuloling. 

But they were disappointed when they found only four coffins at the Guard of Honour. None of them had the mortal remains of Manohar Lal. Though 18 coffins were brought off the Indian Airlines flight from Srinagar today, only four were accorded the ceremonial honour. The Guard of Honour was given to Lance Naik Rajbir Singh and Grenadier Surinder Singh, both of 18 Grenadiers, and Lance Naik Jasbir Singh and Naik Chaman Singh of 2nd Rajputana Rifles. While Army officials balked at confirming the total number of dead soldiers brought in, they took the plea that the ceremony was not performed here for the 14 others because of logistical reasons. 

“Since the families are in far off places and we have been requested to ensure that the bodies reach the hometowns before sunset, we are rushing them there. The ceremonies will be performed by the authorities there,” said a senior officer. 

But try explaining logistics to Rajinder and Zile Singh, uncles of Grenadier Manohar Lal. They had travelled all day to reach Delhi in time for the ceremony. For the first time, the Haryana government had sent along a Haryana Police escort and an official from the District Sainik Board to accompany the dead. 

Nine of the 18 dead are from Haryana. “Manohar’s body isn’t here,” the policeman accompanying the relatives said. 

The bodies of the 14 soldiers (14 from 18 Grenadiers, two from a Naga regiment, and two from 2nd Rajputana Rifles) were taken directly from the airport to the barracks at the Army parade ground. Only the relatives of the dead were allowed in. 

An officer said that not according the Guard of Honour at Delhi didn’t, in any way, mitigate the sacrifice. “The ceremonies will be conducted at their respective hometowns,” he added. 

Grenadier Manohar Singh was one of the several soldiers who had charged up the Tuloling peak on the intervening night of 12 and 13 June. He was one of the 13 killed in an artillery burst which also left six others injured. 

Kargil War Heroes

 

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