A Navy personnel who had died in an explosion onboard the INS Ranvir was cremated with full state honors at his native Sathwin village in Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur district on Friday. Surendra Dhatwalia, 47, was among three Navy personnel killed in the explosion on Tuesday.
Hundreds of people from Sathwin and its nearby villages gave a final farewell to him. Hamirpur additional deputy commissioner Jitendra Santa, Badsar sub-divisional magistrate Shahs Pal Sharma, local MLA I D Lakhanpal, former MLA Baldev Sharma and a number of local officers were present at the crematorium. They offered flower petals on the body before the pyre was lit.
A gun salute was accorded as per protocol by Navy and Himachal Police personnel.
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His nephew lit the pyre amid slogans of ‘Surendra Dhatwalia Amar Rahe’. He was serving in the Indian Navy for the last 28 years. He is survived by his mother, wife, and two daughters.
His body arrived at his home in a bedecked vehicle on Thursday night where locals were waiting for its arrival since early morning amid biting cold and bad weather. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Union minister Anurag Thakur, former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, and leaders of all political parties, social and religious organizations have mourned his demise and have sent condolences to the bereaved family.
The explosion on the INS Ranvir, the Indian Navy’s destroyer ship, had killed three personnel and left 11 injured.
The explosion may have occurred due to a gas leak in the ship’s air-conditioning compartment, an official had said.
The official said a Board of Inquiry has already been instituted to probe the accident, which took place at the naval dockyard in Mumbai on Tuesday.