Akhran da mureed
Captain Pawan Kumar Khatkar, who died in an encounter with terrorists in Kashmir on February 20, hailed from Jind district but it was in Bhiwani that he sharpened his skills to make it to the National Defence Academy while studying at BRCM Vidyagram School, Bahal.
And despite the mayhem wrought by the Jat agitation, villagers were out in full force to give him a befitting farewell.
The body was brought in an Army chopper to his residence in Urban Estate in Jind at 11 am because of the blocked roads, and was taken to Badhana, 20 km away.
Agitating Jats had cleared the way leading to Badhana to enable residents of Amarheri, Kandela, Shahpur and Nagura villages, who had lined up on roads, to pay tributes. The pyre was lit by his father and cousin.
Capt Pawan, who was commissioned in 2013, had joined the elite 10 Para (Special Forces) last year. His mother Kamlesh Rani and father Rajbir are government teachers. He passed his Class XII (non-medical) exam in 2008. “My sole aim is to crack the NDA exam and become an officer. For this, I surrender myself to you,” Pawan Kumar would tell Sehdev Singh Shekawat, his favourite teacher.
Sehdev Singh, a physical training instructor at the residential school, said Pawan had a passion for horse-riding and athletics. Girish Kumar, the house master, remembered him as being “ever ready for sports”. “We are pained at the loss to the family but feel proud that our alumnus sacrificed his life fighting for the country,” said principal Parveen Masta.