Kumar Rajiv Nayan
Ara: Gloom descended on village Kanaili village under Shahpur police station in Bhojpur district when the body of martyr Akhilesh Kumar Pandey wrapped in tricolour reached there on Tuesday afternoon. His mortal remains were consigned to flame at Ramrekha ghat on the bank of river Ganga in Buxar district. He was killed by militants in Assam on May 22.
His five year old son Ayush performed the last rite of his father. Ayush’s uncle Ashok Kumar Pandey was carrying him in his lap was. Ashok is also a jawan in Assam rifles posted in Nagaland. Akhilesh’s his three year old daughter Ananya, his father Ganesh Pandey and others witnessed the ritual with stony silence. Ayush lit the funeral pyre of his father. The funeral procession was attended by thousands of people of the area. Army personnel, who brought the body from Assam and Danapur, saluted the departed soul by firing three rounds in the air.
As the body of Akhilesh reached his native village his family members became inconsolable and his mother Kunti Devi and wife Ekta Pandey were seen lying on floor of their house. The shocked villagers wanted a strong and befitting action against the naxals by the Indian government. Gloom also descended at his in- laws village Uttampur under Rajpur police station in Buxar district.
Akhilesh’s father Ganesh Pandey, a retired serviceman, said his son’s death came as a bolt from the blue for him and his family but at the same time he felt proud because his son had laid his life for his motherland. He said he had two sons and two dughters. His elder son Ashok Kumar Pandey is also in Assam rifles. Akhilesh, 29, completed his matriculation in 2002 and intermediate in 2004. Immediately after completing his intermediate, he joined the Assam Rifles on May 2005 and was posted at Dimapur. He was married to Ekta Pandey, 27, of Uttamput under Rajpur police stion in Buxar district in 2005.