Delhi bids adieu to braveheart Sharma (Lead)September 20th, 2008 - 10:54 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) A three-gun salute rang out and the Last Post was sounded as the capital Saturday bid adieu to braveheart Delhi Police inspector Mohan Chand Sharma, who died battling terrorists in a shootout here Friday.Sharma, one of the most decorated officers of the force, was cremated with full police honours in the presence of political leaders and police top brass.
The 44-year-old officer succumbed to his bullet wounds Friday after struggling for life for seven hours. He is survived by his wife, son and daughter.
“My son was brave and he was never scared of anyone. I am proud of his brave act,” said his father Narottam Sharma, 76, who carried out the last rites as Sharma’s cousin Heera Ballabh lit the pyre at around 5 p.m.
Sharma’s 13-year-old son Divyanshu, down with suspected dengue, was seen consoling his mother at their house in Dwarka in west Delhi, where hundreds of people descended earlier in the day to bid the final adieu to Sharma.
Sharma had dashed straight from the hospital where Divyanshu was admitted to a house in Jamia Nagar in south Delhi when he was called for duty, forgetting to put on his flak jacket in the process.
Acting on a tip-off, the Special Cell of Delhi Police raided the house to flush out five suspected terrorists alleged to be behind the Sep 13 serial bombings in the capital that claimed at least 24 lives.
Sharma was shot by the militants even as he fired back and took them on, receiving bullet wounds in his stomach, shoulder, arm and hip.
His act of bravery made people travel from his hometown in Almora in Uttarkhand to come all the way to catch a last glimpse of their son.
“I have seen him growing in front of my eyes. He was brave from childhood and died as a valiant soldier,” said Chandan Singh Rawat, a resident of Almora.
As Sharma was consigned to flames, a host of VIPs and politicians paid their last respects to him at the Nigambodh Ghat cremation ground.
Senior leaders including L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Congress leader Sajjan Kumar were among those present.
While Home Minister Shivraj Patil was conspicuous by his absence at the cremation, he was represented by Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta. Lt. Governor Tejinder Khanna and Delhi Police chief Y.S. Dadwal were present along with the police top brass.
Scores of people from all walks of life lined the route from his home to the cremation ground and many had a tear in their eye while bidding farewell to a courageous cop.
Some even raised slogans “M.C. Sharma amar rahe” (Long live M.C. Sharma), “Jab tak suraj-chand rahega Sharma tera naam rahega” (Till the time moon and stars shine in the sky, Sharma, your name will be remembered) as his body arrived in a police van decked with marigold flowers.