There was not a single dry eye among those gathered for the funeral as the slain Colonel Rai’s eleven year old daughter paid homage to her dead father and instead of breaking down in sobs at the sight, shouted out a Gurkha war cry promising to avenge her father’s death one day. She declared that she would also join the army when she grew up and “fight the terrorists who killed her father.” But from among the Government, who came to power promising staunch support to our army in its war against terror, not one Minister was present to console the little girl or her family…or lay a wreath on her father’s mortal remains.
The cremation of late Colonel Munindra Nath Rai martyred in anti-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir, took place in the national capital and even with senior ministers including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikkar present in the city, they did not attend. Nor did a single representative from the government arrive at the cremation ground to pay homage.
Several senior Army officers including Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag were present to pay homage to Colonel Rai, as were his buddies and his whole family. It is really commendable that Col. M.N. Rai was the youngest of three brothers and all three have been serving in the armed forces. Both his elder brothers have also received gallantry awards. Col. M.N. Rai had received tone of the highest gallantry awards just a day before his tragic murder at the hands of insurgents in J&K.
“He was very brave but never wreckless” said his elder brother. “He laid down his life so lives of numerous soldiers could be saved.”
While the Uttar Pradesh government announced a compensation of Rs 30 lakh for Col Rai’s family as he was a native of Derhgava village in Sohaval area of the state’s Ghazipur district, the Central government is yet to do so.