Thane/Mumbai, Aug 8 (IANS) The mortal remains of Major Kaustubh P. Rane — who was among the four Army personnel killed in a gun battle with terrorists near the Line of Control at Bandipura in Jammu & Kashmir on Tuesday — reached Mumbai late on Wednesday evening, officials said.
The coffin, draped in the national tricolor, was solemnly received by Rane’s grieving family members, Army and civilian officials.
The body will be taken to his hometown Mira Road in adjacent Thane district. The last rites will be performed on Thursday with full military honours.
At the airport, family members, various Army units, Maharashtra and Mumbai police and state government officials offered wreaths and paid homage to the departed soldier.
Since Tuesday, Mira Road township has been in mourning over the death of their hero, who lived over 25 years in Sheetal Nagar area, barely 5 km north of Mumbai.
Rane, 29, is survived by his aged parents Prakash and Jyoti Rane, a sister Kashyapi, wife Kanika and a two-and-half-year old son Agastya.
Hailing from Sadure village in Vaibhavwadi talika of the coastal Sindhudurg district, the family was settled in Mira Road since several decades. His father had retired from a private company, while his mother is a former Assistant Headmistress of Utkarsh Mandir High School in Malad here.
Major Rane was educated at the Holy Cross Convent High School here and then the Royal College nearby, before graduating from Shailendra College at Dahisar in western suburbs of Mumbai.
The only son of his parents, Rane fulfilled his childhood dreams of joing the armed forces by completing his military training from Pune, and was later commissioned as an officer from the elite Officers Training Academy, Chennai in 2011.
Joining the Indian Army as a Lieutenant, he was later promoted to Captain rank and elevated as Major earlier this year with the 36 Rashtriya Rifles.
Since his posting in the sensitive Gurez sector last year, Major Rane would call up his family occasionally and inform them about his wellbeing, his uncle Pratap Rane told mediapersons.
Incidentally, Major had visited Mira Road in April this year for a brief period before returning to the front.
It was a proud moment for the family when earlier this year Major Rane was decorated with the Sena Gallantry Medal by President Ram Nath Kovind on the 69th Republic Day celebrations.
Relatives, friends and neighbours remember Major Rane as a soft-spoken, warm and well-behaved person with a helpful nature and taking part in local social-cultural activities.