Armyman's body found after five months

Armyman's body found after five months

Believe it or not, but the body of an Armyman from Bihar, posted in Kupwara, was found on July 2, more than five months after he died at Gujardur (near LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

The body of Ranjay Kumar was flown to Patna by Air India the next day, from where it was taken to his ancestral village Srirampur in Siwan district. He was cremated with state honours on Wednesday.

Ranjay, a jawan of Ist Bihar Regiment, was trapped in an avalanche with his seven colleagues on January 24 at Keran sector near the Line of Control (LoC) close to Kupwara, when they were on route-clearing duty. While the bodies of two personnel were recovered, there was no trace of Ranjay and others.

More than five months later, the Army’s search team found the bodies of Ranjay and his colleague Raju Suba Ani, when the snow started melting in the area. Ani belonged to a BSF battalion. The other four jawans, who remain untraced, are Akhilesh Singh, Ajay Kumar, L M Singh and M P Singh, all from Bihar Regiment.

The last rites of Ranjay, who is survived by wife Vandana, was attended by Major A S Jodha of Bihar Regiment Centre.

Ranjay is the second defence personnel from Bihar in the last two months to have met an untimely death while on duty. In May, an Army flying instructor, Major C S Singh, died in an air crash at  Siachen. Singh, from Bihar’s Hajipur district, was killed when the Cheetah helicopter he was flying crashed on the Siachen glacier during an air maintenance exercise.

Senior Army officers and jawans of Bihar Regimental Centre had attended his last rites in Vaishali, but nobody from the Bihar government represented the Nitish regime at the cremation site.

Singh’s father, Anjani Kumar Singh, lamented that since his son died on duty, someone from the state government should have been present. “We did not expect an ex-gratia from Bihar government, but they should have shown some respect during his last journey,” the septuagenarian ex-defence man, who lost his only son, had said.

As a result, when Ranjay was cremated in Siwan, the sub-divisional officer, deputy superintendent of police and a BDO were there in full attendance to represent the state government.

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