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Final salute: Thousands turn up to bid teary and heroic adieu to Major Rane

Friday, August 10, 2018
By Suresh Golani

Last rites performed with full military honours

Major Kaustubh Prakash Kumar Rane may have played and cycled on the roads in Sheetal Nagar during his childhood days, but in the comeback to his hometown in Mira Road on Thursday, the stretches from his apartment to the crematorium were decked up with flowers for his final journey. Chants of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai…….Kaustubh Rane Amar Rahe” filled the air as thousands-most who had not even heard of him till a couple of days ago, rallied in the funeral procession as Mira Road gave its martyr a hero’s farewell.

The mortal remains of Major Kaustubh Prakash Kumar Rane, were consigned to the flames at the Mira Road crematorium with gun salutes and full military honours on Thursday afternoon. Major Kaustubh Rane was amongst the four brave hearts who had attained martyrdom in a fierce gunfight while trying to prevent militants from infiltrating into Gurez sector of north Kashmir's Bandipora distict on Tuesday.

The news of Major Rane’s martyrdom had cast a pall of grief over region. The 29-year-old martyr's body was brought in a casket from the Military’s Central Ordnance Depot in Malad to his residence in Hiral Sagar building of Sheetal Nagar in Mira Road at around 6:35 am. After the traditional rituals, people lined up outside the building to pay homage to their beloved real life hero who sacrificed his life in the line of duty. A flower-decked truck carried the Major’s body as the funeral procession with an army escort vehicle started at 9:30 am.

Several thousands including local residents, politicians and social activists turned up to join a long procession -- among the largest in this region, to mark the final journey. As a mark of respect, all business establishments remained closed voluntarily. As the procession reached the crematorium at11:30 am, every inch of it was filled with people wanting to pay their last respects to the slain officer.

The national flag was taken off the casket and given to Major’s wife –Kanika. The martyred major has left behind his wife, sister- Kashyapi, 2-year-old son Agastya, parents -Prakash Rane and Jyoti Rane. It was an emotional moment when a teary-eyed Kashyapi kept a small box on the casket - apparently her final gift  to her martyred brother for the upcoming Raksha Bandhan.

Apart from officials representing the Army, Navy and Air Force, MoS (Home) Deepak Kesarkar, PWD Minister Eknath Shinde and a host of legislators and local politicians registered their presence.

Skies opened as flames went up!
Rifle shots echoed into the sky as the body was carried into the crematorium. The funeral pyre was lit by Major Kaustubh’s father Prakash Kumar Rane. And as the flames went up, the skies opened up and wept, as if to give an indication that the almighty was also pained by the untimely loss and the supreme sacrifice given by the braveheart to protect his motherland.

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