General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, North Command, Lt Gen Y K Joshi on Wednesday led his troops to pay homage to two major-rank pilots who were killed when their helicopter crash-landed in a dense forest in Udhampur district, officials said. Major Rohit Kumar and Major Anuj Rajput were on a training sortie when their Cheetah helicopter crash-landed in Shiv Garh Dhar near Patnitop, resulting in grave injuries. Both the pilots succumbed at Command Hospital, Udhampur where they had been evacuated for treatment.
A defence spokesperson said a solemn ceremony was held at Udhampur, where the GoC-in-C, North Command, laid a wreath to honour the valiant sons of India who laid down their lives in the line of duty. "Major Kumar (35) and Major Rajput (28) were brave officers who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty. The Indian Army will always remain indebted to their supreme sacrifice and it offers deepest condolences to their families," he said.
The mortal remains of Major Kumar, who hailed from Noida, were consigned to flames with full military honours at Devika Ghat in Udhampur district where he was putting up with his family. Wrapped in tricolour, a coffin containing his body was brought to the cremation ground where a large number of people joined the Army personnel to bid a tearful adieu to him amid the chants of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' and 'Shaheed Major Amar Rahe', the officials said.
They said floral tributes were paid to the deceased during the last rites which were performed with full military honours, including a gun salute. The officials said the mortal remains of Major Rajput, a bachelor, would be taken to his hometown, Panchkula