India on Tuesday (February 19) bid adieu to Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal, who was killed in the Pulwama encounter in Jammu and Kashmir.
As Major Dhoundiyal's coffin was kept draped in the Tricolour, his wife Nikita Kaul, stood right next to it. Trying to hold back her tears, she looked quietly inside the coffin, blew a kiss to her late husband, and bent over to tell him, "I love you".
They had tied the knot less than a year ago.
Major Dhoundiyal's body was brought home late on Monday and the funeral will be done with full military honours in Haridwar today evening.
The news of his death had come as the last rites of Major Chitresh Bisht, who died defusing a mine near the LoC in Rajouri district, were still underway in Haridwar on Monday.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat placed a wreath on the coffin amid cries of "Shaheed Dhoundiyal Amar Rahein" and "Vande Mataram".
Prominent among those who turned up to pay their last respects Major Dhoundiyal included state cabinet minister Satpal Maharaj, ex-MP Tarun Vijay, state assembly Speaker Premchand Agarwal, BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi and Dehradun Mayor Sunil Uniyal Gama.
A QUICK RECAP
Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal was martyred on Monday (February 18) in a 12-hour encounter in Pulwama when the security forces cornered hidden terrorists in the area. Three Jaish terrorists were killed in the encounter.
The encounter took place in the wake of last week's suicide attack on a CRPF convoy, masterminded by the Pakistan-based JeM, in which 40 CRPF jawans were martyred.
Four Army soldiers were martyred: Major VS Dhondial, Havaldar Sheo Ram and Sepoys Hari Singh and Ajay Kumar. A police head constable, Abdul Rashid Kalas, was also killed in the encounter.
A civilian was also killed in the encounter, said the police.