While thousands of emotional villagers and family members raised patriotic slogans, the mortal remains of Army jawan Sandip Somnath Thok, who was martyred in the Uri terror attack, were consigned to flames at his native place here.
The body of 24-year-old Sandip, who is survived by his parents, elder brother Yogesh and two married sisters, was on 19 September brought to Ojhar Airport in Nashik district in an IAF plane from Srinagar and then taken to his native Khadangli village by road last night.
His parents, relatives, and villagers broke down on seeing the valiant soldier's body.
A procession was also taken out in the village as state Rural Development Minister Dadaji Bhuse, District Collector Radhakrishnan B, Sub-Divisional Officer Mahesh Patil, Tehsildar Manoj Khairnar and others paid rich tributes to the martyr.
Sandip, whose father Somnath is an onion farmer, had joined the Army in 2014 after repeated attempts. Ten youths from the village are serving in the armed forces.
The jawan was bid farewell amid chants of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' and 'Sandeep Thok Amar Rahein' by grief-stricken villagers as his mortal remains were cremated late last night with full military honours.
Besides Sandip, three other bravehearts from Maharashtra -- Chandrakant Shankar Galande from Satara, Vikas Janardhan Kulmethe (27) from Yavatmal district and Panjab alias Vikas Janrao Uike (26) from Amravati -- were among the 18 jawans killed in the Uri terror attack.
Heavily armed militants, suspected to be from Pakistan-based JeM, had on 18 September stormed an Army base at Uri in Kashmir, killing 18 jawans.