PUNE: Thousands of people gathered at the Vaikunth Crematorium in Navi Peth, on Sunday morning, to pay their respects to Major Shashidharan V Nair (33), who attained martyrdom in an IED explosion along the Line of Control (LoC), in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday evening.
Major Nair’s body, wrapped in the Tricolour and kept in a casket, was first brought to his home in Mukai Nagar, Khadakwasla, at around 7 am from the morgue at Military Hospital, NDA. His mortal remains had reached Pune on Saturday evening. After the ceremonial guard of honour at the National War Memorial, it was kept in the morgue.
On Sunday morning, the shopkeepers had downed shutters in Mukai Nagar. The local residents walked with the procession for two kilometres. Vehicular traffic was closed on Sinhgad Road for the funeral procession, which started from his home at around 9.30 am. He was carried in a flower-bedecked Army truck. At a few junctions along the 12-kilometre route from the Major’s home to the crematorium, flowers were showered on the vehicle. Hundreds of youths raised slogans and followed the procession with Tricolors in hand.
At the crematorium, when the family members placed floral wreaths on his body, mourners shouted slogans like ‘Vande Mataram’, ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Major Shashi Nair Amar Rahe’. His wife Trupti, who had come in a wheelchair, and mother Lata, were inconsolable.
He was cremated with full military honours. Before the martyr’s 12-year-old cousin brother Ashvat, who had come from his native place in Kerala, lit the funeral pyre, a 21-gun salute was given.
Among those present at the funeral were Pune MP Anil Shirole, district Guardian Minister Girish Bapat, MLA Bhimrao Tapkir, Deputy Mayor Dr Sidharth Dhende, Additional Police Commissioner Ravindra Sengaonkar and ACP Bhanupratap Barge.
Major Nair was born on July 30, 1985. After completing BSc in chemistry from Fergusson College, he joined the Indian Military Academy (IMA) at Dehradun in 2006. In his 11-year military career, Major Nair served in the high-altitude regions and counterinsurgency areas in Jammu and Kashmir. He was also posted as an instructor at the Cadets Training Wing (CTW), College of Military Engineering (CME), Pune. Last year again, he was posted in Kashmir.