Udhampur bids emotional adieu to braveheart
A sea of humanity today descended on Udhampur to bid an emotional and inspiring farewell to Capt Tushar Mahajan, who attained martyrdom during an encounter with terrorists at the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) in Pampore on Sunday.
As a mark of respect to the braveheart, all shopkeepers, businessmen and vendors downed the shutters of their establishments in Udhampur and rallied behind the decorated military vehicle carrying the Tricolour-wrapped body of the martyr to Devika cremation ground.
In the morning, the Northern Command organised a wreath-laying ceremony to accord a ceremonial farewell to Captain Mahajan. Lt Gen DS Hooda, Northern Command chief, laid a wreath along with members of his family.
Later, the body was taken to the martyr’s house in Adarsh Nagar in a decorated Army vehicle. People from a cross-section of society queued up on both sides of the highway to pay tributes to the Army officer.
With Tricolours in their hands, thousands of people thronged the martyr’s house and chanted slogans like “Udhampur will remain indebted to your supreme sacrifice” and “Indian Army zindabad”.
“I am proud of my son. He always wanted to be in the Army. He was a true patriot and patriotism was in his blood since childhood. We never resisted his strong desire to serve the nation. It was his passion to serve the country and he proved it with his supreme sacrifice,” said Prof Devraj Gupta, the martyr’s father.
The family of Captain Mahajan, particularly his father, a retired Principal, were a source of inspiration for people as they showed immense courage while paying tribute to the braveheart at the Northern Command headquarters.
At no point of time did the voice of Captain Mahajan’s father choke while responding to the media about the supreme sacrifice of his son.
“We had no information that he was a part of the operation launched by security forces to eliminate terrorists at Pampore. He never shared with us anything about his nature of duty and operations being carried out,” said Professor Gupta.
“It was Tushar’s passion to do something extraordinary for the country and we never created any obstacle in his ambition of joining the Army. He was 16 when he was selected for National Defence Academy training,” he said.
He sought know from the political class when they would resolve contentious issues so that such sacrifices of young officers like his son could stop.
Tejas Singh, one of Captain Mahajan’s friends, said Bhagat Singh was Tushar’s “role model” and he wanted to be one of the best Army officers. “He was lively and brilliant in studies since his school days. He got selected for NDA training and inducted in the special forces in his first attempt,” he said.
“I am proud of my friend. His absence has created a void in my life which cannot be filled. Unfortunately, whatever is happening in the country is painful. People easily forget the supreme sacrifice of soldiers, which is distressing. Like the US and Russia, we should value the life of our soldiers,” he said.