Thousands of people paid tearful homage to Major Mukund Varadharajan, whose mortal remains was consigned to flames here with full military honours.
The 32-year-old Varadharajan, of the 44 Rashtriya Rifles, was killed along with a soldier in a gunbattle with terrorists in the Karewa Manloo village in Kashmir's Shopian district. Three extremists were also shot dead.
Varadharajan is survived by his wife and daughter Arshea Mukund.
Hundreds of people, including members of his family, his relatives, and military and government representatives, paid homage as his body arrived at the Chennai Airport around midnight of Sunday. It was taken to his residence at Tambaram, where it was kept for public homage.
On Monday morning, his body was taken to the crematorium, where it was cremated with full military honours, including the 46-gun salute.
In his condolence message to the major’s father, Raghavachari Varadharajan, Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah said he was deeply shocked and grieved to hear that Major Mukund Varadharajan had lost his life while bravely fighting militants. Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa also wrote a letter to the major's wife expressing heartfelt condolences. “I was shocked and grieved to hear of the martyrdom of Major Mukund Varadharajan, your husband, who laid down his life in Shopian district, Jammu and Kashmir, while protecting our country from a terrorist attack,” she wrote.
Jayalalithaa also announced Rs 10 lakh financial assistance to Mukund's family.