The occasion of Diwali usher in joy and happiness and the festival is celebrated with gaiety and fervor across the country. But there is no such festivities among residents of Anthedi village in Kurukshetra as they mourn the death of the son of soil- sepoy Mandeep Singh. Standing in Solidarity with the family of Mandeep, who was killed and subsequently beheaded by terrorists near the LoC in Macchil sector of Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, the villagers will light a single ‘diya'(oil lamp) at their respective homes, a report said. Even children have decided not to burst crackers, a poignant and perhaps the most touching #Sandesh2Soldiers. Amid the grief, the villagers and family of martyred Mandeep have decided to pay rich tributes to his unflinching dedication towards the nation. Thousand gathered here from the village and nearby areas for his last rites as nation bids adieu to the Kupwara brave-heart. The last rites were held with full state honours, even as his family and villagers demanded that Pakistan be given a befitting reply for its repeated misadventures. The jawan’s body, wrapped in the tricolour, was brought in a bedecked army vehicle to his native village. Mandeep’s father lit the funeral pyre. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has met the family members.
“We all stand along with their families, Rs. 50 lakh will be given as compensation and a government job will be offered to one family member of the solider,” said Khattar.
Khattar said the sacrifice of the soldiers will not go in vain, adding a befitting reply will be given to Pakistan for their act. “We will help the family in every possible manner. The government in order to ensure that Mandeep’s sacrifice is always remembered will do all suggested by the family members of the brave heart. We will not let the sacrifice of these soldiers go in vain,” he said.
“There is no point of celebrating Diwali. Even neighbouring villages are mourning with us,” resident Gyan Singh Nambardaar told TOI. Mandeep’s elder brother Sandeep said, “We have built a new house and had planned to organise a house-warming ceremony during Mandeep’s visit this Diwali. Our family is now shattered. Now, I want to join the Army to avenge the death of my brother. I appeal to the PM to take action against those who kill our soldiers.”
Mandeep’s wife Prerna, a head constable with Haryana police posted at Shahabad, has been inconsolable since the news her husband’s death came in.
Notably, this is not the first time that Kurukshetra has lost its favourite son. Mandeep is the second soldier from Kurukshetra to be killed in the ongoing cross-border violence.