Sharmili Mallick

Khurda: The mortal remains of martyred Odia Jawan Hemant Panda, were consigned to flames at his native village Atharang in Khurda district today.

As per reports, Panda was martyred in a terrorist attack in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir on January 26 and his body was brought in a flight from New Delhi to Bhubaneswar and was later taken to his village last night.

Officers of the 120 Battalion, Panda's family members, local MLA and officials of district administration paid floral tributes to the martyred soldier, informed sources.

Later, a funeral procession was taken out in the village following which Panda’s body was consigned to flames amid slogans of ‘Amar Rahe’. A huge number of people from the village as well as outside gathered to bid a tearful adieu to the soldier.

“We are deeply saddened and proud at the same time that he laid his life for the country. He was very popular in our village and everybody loved him,” said a villager.

“He laid his life for the country. I request the government to help us in setting up a statue in the village in the village in memory of the soldier,” demanded another villager.

Notably, Panda had sustained bullet injuries in a militant’s attack on Friday and died while undergoing treatment at the hospital on Saturday.