Soldier, deployed in Ladakh, laid to rest in Patiala

Chandigarh: The mortal remains of Lance Naik Saleem Khan, who lost his life in the line of duty in Ladakh, were laid to rest at his native village of Mardaheri in Punjab’s Patiala district with full military honours on Saturday. He was 24.

Deployed with the Bengal Engineer Group, Khan became a battle casualty on June 25 while patrolling at a river close to the LAC (Line of Actual Control) in Ladakh sector, said a government release here.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday announced ex-gratia compensation of Rs 50 lakh, along with a government job to a family member of Khan.

Saddened to hear about the demise of Lance Naik Saleem Khan in Ladakh. He belonged to Mardaheri village in Patiala district. My sincere condolences to his family. The nation salutes the brave soldier. Jai Hind!, Singh said in his tweet.

Scores of people bid a tearful adieu to the soldier. Slogans of ‘Saleem Khan Amar Rahe’, ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ rent the air when his body, wrapped in the Tricolour, reached his native village.

Villagers showered flower petals on the military vehicle when the mortal remains of Khan were being brought to his native place.

Khan’s family members were inconsolable when the body arrived. They also saluted him for the last time.

Khan had joined the Army in February 2014.

He is survived by his mother, brother and a sister.

His father Mangal Deen had also served in the Army and passed away 18 years ago.

Punjab Cabinet Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot along with senior officials from the Army, police and civil administration and other political leaders paid their last respects to the soldier. (PTI)