Sepoy Bajindra Singh

Sepoy Bajindra Singh

Soldier cremated without honours

DHARAMSALA, June 3: While military honour is accorded to officers who lay down their lives fighting for the nation, no military or civil official bothered to even lay a wreath on the mortal remains of 24-year-old soldier, Bajinder Singh, Nandloo village under the Dehra subdivision, who died fighting infiltrators, in the Dras sector, on the Indo-Pak border.

>Six-feet-tall Bajinder died while protecting the borders of the country on May 27. Son of a soldier, Jagdish Chand, he was the youngest of two brothers and a sister. He joined the Army at the age of 21 and visited the village about two months back for the last time at the time of his sisters marriage.

Having no prior intimation about the death of her young son, Santosh Kumari, whose husband died seven years back, couldn't believe her eyes when the coffin carrying the body of her son, reached the village at about 6 a.m. yesterday morning. She was alone in the house. Her elder son Vijay is employed at a petrol station in Chandigarh. Unable to come to the terms to the tragedy that had struck her, she was in consolable, as the coffin was brought to the house.

The decomposed remains of the valiant soldier were brought to the village in a taxi by a Havildar of the 16 Grenadiers to which Bajinder belonged. His body was flown to Jammu, from where it was brought here in a taxi. He was killed while fighting infiltrators on May 27, but no prior intimation had been sent to the family. 

The villagers were critical of the indifferent attitude shown by the authorities. They said whether it was an Army officer or a simple soldier, each one of them deserved a befitting farewell. They said practically each family from Kangra had one or more member in the armed forces and this kind of treatment would deter the youth from joining the forces. The fact that so many youth from here are in the Army was evident when there were hardly any young shoulder to carry the body of Bajinder to his house, for which one has to cover about two kilometres distance on foot.

However, the villagers and the people of the neighbouring area were very annoyed with the treatment meted out to the mortal remains of the soldier.

CourtesyThe Tribune News Service

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