One of the two elite CoBRA commandos killed in an encounter with Naxals in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district on Monday was set to get married on March 27 and had even applied for leave for it, a relative said.
Purnanand Sahu, part of the 204th battalion of the Central Reserve Police force's elite Commando Battalions for Resolute Action, was killed along with colleague Vikas Kumar in a gunfight with Maoist ultras in Pamed area of Bijapur.
Sahu was a native of Jangalpur near Ranjangaon town in Chhattisgarh and had joined the Central Reserve Police Force, the parent body of the CoBRA unit, in April, 2013.
"Purnanand was with his family to celebrate New Year. We had no idea it is the last time he would be coming home. It is absolutely numbing. He was set to get married on March 27 and had even applied for leave," his uncle Vedprakash Sahu said.
"Purnanand was the main breadwinner of the family and was taking care of the education of his four siblings, including two sisters," he added.
Purnanand's father Lakshman Sahu said, "I always wanted to join the police but could not do so. Nobody in the family was aware of my son's willingness to join the force until he was selected for the CRPF. That day I told myself Purnanand was no longer my son but the son of this country. I am proud of my son's martyrdom."
Sahu was cremated with full state honours in Jangalpur village with his body brought to the site wrapped in the tricolour, amid hundreds of villagers who shouted slogans hailing his bravery.
Among those who attended were Dongargaon MLA Daleshwar Sahu, Rajnandgaon Collector Jaiprakash Maurya as well as police and CRPF officers.
Collector Maurya said a government school in the village would named after the martyred commando.
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