ITBP jawan martyred in IED attack cremated in Samba

SAMBA: An Indo-Tibetan Border Police jawan who lost his life in a Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh was cremated with full honours in his village near the International Border in Samba district on Sunday.

The body of Head Constable Joginder Kumar, 45, reached his village, Abtal Katalan, in Ramgarh sector late Saturday night.

Kumar died in an Improvised Explosive Device explosion near Bade Gobra Village while escorting a polling party after the conclusion of the second phase of the Chhattisgarh assembly elections on Friday.

Officials, including Samba Deputy Commissioner Abhishek Sharma and Senior Superintendent of Police Benam Tosh, as well as political leaders from almost all parties attended the wreath laying ceremony of the soldier.

Hundreds of people, some carrying the national flag and chanting patriotic slogans, turned up to bid farewell to the soldier who was cremated by his nine-year-old son amid a guard of honour and a gunfire salute by an ITBP contingent.

Earlier, the village youngsters took out bike rallies and candle light marches from Abtal Katalan village to Samba town, a distance of over 10 kms, to pay Kumar their tributes.

Kumar's father and elder brother are retired army men, while his two younger brothers are serving in the ITBP and Central Industrial Security Force.

"We have gathered in Kumar's village to pay our last respects to the braveheart who laid down his life while performing election duty ... We stand with his family at this hour of grief and will ensure all necessary support from the district administration," DC Sharma said.

Rakesh Kumar, Commandant of the 47th battalion ITBP, said Joginder Kumar was a dedicated member of the force.

"Our battalion was originally based in Arunachal Pradesh and was moved to Chhattisgarh for poll duty. After the conclusion of elections, an IED went off claiming the life of the jawan whose sacrifice for the nation will be remembered forever," the officer told reporters after the funeral.

"ITBP has a tradition to look after the families of the fallen jawans. We stand with his family and ensure that they are properly rehabilitated," the commandant said, adding, the attack is under investigation and guilty won't be spared.

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