New Delhi: Amidst emotional and stoic scenes, Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) General Dalbir Singh, Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Phillip Campose and other senior officers, besides rank and file, paid tribute to martyred hero Colonel Munindra Nath Rai, the commanding officer of 42 Rashtriya Rifles.
His body was accorded a Guard of Honour at the crematorium complex in Brar Square, Delhi Cantonment. As the Army Chief saluted along with other officers, the Last Post was played and he was bid farewell with full military honours, including a gun salute in the national capital.
Colonel Rai had lost his life fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Tral on Tuesday, just one day after being awarded the Yudh Seva gallantry medal as part of the Republic Day celebrations. He was martyred along with one policeman Head Constable Sanjeev Singh, of the Jammu and Kashmir Police Special Operations Group in an encounter with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen terrorists. Two terrorists were killed in the encounter.
After offering his tribute, General Singh consoled the deceased Colonel's family members.
Earlier on Wednesday, General Singh had termed Colonel MN Rai's act of pursuing and eliminating terrorists as a 'brave act' and said that the officer had showed exemplary leadership by leading from the front.
"He was a very brave officer and he had been awarded Yudh Seva medal on January 26. It is an example of leadership, that the moment he got the information that there are two terrorists in that area, he immediately led a party and eliminated them," he said.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh Government has announced Rs 30 lakhs ex-gratia to the family of the Colonel Rai, who hails from the state's Ghazipur district.