Sepoy Yashwant Singh

Sepoy Yashwant Singh

Shimla pays respects to its martyr 

SHIMLA: All shops were closed large crowds thronged the historic Ridge Maidan here on Wednesday to pay their last respects to a 20-year-old Yashwant Singh who laid down his life for the motherland in the Kargil sector. 

His father, Ram Singh, bore it all stoicly as he saw governor V.S. Rama Devi, former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, members of the Prem Singh Dhumal cabinet, officials and Army officials lay wreaths on the tricolour-bedecked coffin bearing the mortal remains of Gunner Yashwant Singh of the 15th Field Regiment. 

The young man had joined the Army only last year and was to yet avail his first annual leave. Pressed by his father, who retired from the ITBP, he joined the Army. He died on June 14 in the Kargil sector shortly after his 20th birthday. 

A resident of Kewali village in Rohru sub-tehsil of Shimla district, his father recalled that Yashwant had come on joining leave after completing his training. ``He went on to join the 15th Field Regiment and was proud that he was being sent to guard the frontiers on his very first posting,'' his father told The Times of India News Service. 

The mortal remains will be taken to Rohru on Thursday morning for the last rites which will be held with full military honours. ``His people back home, especially his friends, are keenly awaiting his arrival,'' said Ram Singh trying hard to hold back his tears. 

Ram Singh said having been in the para-military forces himself, he knew the call of duty. ``I am proud that he gave his life in honour of his motherland, but my only regret is that he was too young to die,'' he said in a voice choked with emotion. 

CourtesyThe Times of India News Service

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