Soldier cremated 18 years after his death

Ninety-year-old Gajadhar Prasad and had lost all hopes of seeing his son Havildar Gaya Prasad, whose body was trapped in an icy grave for almost two decades in the precipitous Siachen glacier.

After an excruciating 18 years, Gajadhar touched his son with trembling hands. His lips quivered as he said, “I had resigned myself to my fate. I never thought that I would be able to see my son again.”

Rendered speechless, Gaya Prasad’s wife Rama Devi and daughters Manju and Meena had only tears to express themselves.

They had to live 18 long years of their lives without seeing the deceased soldier. Saroj had only seen pictures of her father-in-law before his body was brought home. An Army contingent brought Gaya Prasad’s mortal remains to Kudaria village in Uttar Pradesh’s Mainpuri district, where thousands of people came to witness Thursday’s cremation.

A “pandal” was erected outside the soldier’s house to accommodate the large number of people, including Army officers. Although Kudaria wore a sombre look during the cremation, the normally dark village was lit up by generator sets in advance.

Locals had worked to make these arrangements of their own accord.

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