SONKATCH: Hundreds of citizens and villagers in Dewas district's Chidawat village near Sonkatch stepped out to pay their final tributes to Havildar Mukesh Patel, who was laid to rest in his ancestral Chidawat village on Thursday afternoon.
Patel who was with Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME) Regiment died on intervening night of December 12-13 while serving at Leh. Patel joined Indian Army in September 1997 was due to retire on March 1, 2021, after serving the country in the inaccessible icy, deserted, foothills regions of the country.
The jawan’s mortal remains were flown from Leh to Indore by a special military plane. They were then taken to his ancestral Chidawat village by road on Thursday morning.
Impassioned scenes of grief were witnessed as villagers gathered to bid their final farewell to the valiant martyr. His final rites were held amid heart-rending vignettes and loud chants of “Mukesh Patel amar rahe (long live Mukesh Patel)” and “Bharat Mata ki Jai.”
A mournful congregation of citizens paid tributes to the martyred brave heart whose daredevilry and fearlessness was the stuff of lore in this part of the district.
His family said that right from an early age, he was imbued with a strong spirit of self-sacrifice and a sense of patriotic duty, which led him to join the armed forces. He survived by his mother, his wife, and two kids - boy and girl. Patel’s son Ayush expressed his desire to follow his father’s footsteps and join Indian Army.
A close friend recalled how Patel, who was going to retire on March 1, 2021.
Meanwhile, the absence of Dewas district collector and superintendent of police in the funeral became a matter of discussion among the villagers who are demanding martyr status to Patel.
Dewas MP Mahendra Singh Solanki participated in the funeral and expressed grief. He announced to build a memorial and gate in memory of Shaheed Mukesh Patel. Former MLA Rajendra Verma, MLA Manoj Chaudhary, and others also paid floral tributes.