PUNE: Amidst slogans of valour and praises of martyr Major Shashidharan Nair (33), his body arrived in the decorated army truck from Pune airport at the National War Memorial Southern Command on Saturday evening.
The officer along with rifleman Jiwan Gurung (24), a native of West Bengal, had sustained severe injuries when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded in Naushera sector along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday evening. Later, they succumbed to injuries.
The mortal remains of the officer, who had over 11 years service in the army, was brought to Rajouri Cantonment before being flown to Pune for the last rites in a service aircraft. A Ceremonial Guard of Honour was given at National War Memorial, Pune. Major General N S Lamba laid the wreath on behalf of, Army Commander, Southern Command in the presence of Officers, Junior Commissioned Officers and other ranks.
Major Nair is survived by his wife Trupti and mother Lata Nair and sister. They live in Khadakwasla. Trupti is currently undergoing treatment in the Military Hospital (MH), Khadki, for some health problems and had arrived at the War Memorial in a wheelchair to pay tribute to her husband.
Hundreds of people including his family, friends, relatives and Army officials waited to pay respect to the martyr.
They hailed his courageous contribution to the army. His family and friends broke down into tears seeing the valiant soldier’s body brought in coffin wrapped in Tricolour.
After the wreath-laying ceremony, the mortal remains were taken to the morgue of MH, National Defence Academy (NDA) in Khadakwasla. On Sunday morning, it will be taken to his house. Around 10 am, it will be brought to the Vaikunth crematorium in Navi Peth. The last rites of the martyred officer will be carried out with full State honours.
‘HE MOTIVATED STUDENTS TO JOIN ARMY’
Nair had completed school education from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Girinagar and NDA. He graduated in BSc from Fergusson College (FC) in 2006.
He was part of the Army wing of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) during his college days. His friends from FC recalled him as most polite, humble and down to earth person. They added he was most disciplined and ambitious soldier.
“Nair would cycle down from Khadakwasla to FC every Sunday for NCC practice. He would often challenge us with either push ups or any other exercise and would ask to beat his record,” said his batchmate Balu Sontakke with tears filled in his eyes.
Another friend, Siddharth Polke who works in an IT company, added that Nair always wanted to join army. “On the first day of NCC practice, he fell out of exhaustion and was placed in the last row. After this incident, he geared himself and in three years, made his body fit to lead the team. He in fact started encouraging his juniors and batchmates to join the army.”
“Nair never missed any college reunions. He would talk to the juniors at the reunions and enlighten us about army and how to crack SSB and join the armed forces,” said Badal Sarkar and Mayur Malwadkar, Nair’s juniors at FC.