The Hush Post: Instead of being in the warmth of the arms of her father, a five-month old child did not register that she was sitting on the coffin of her father. It was an emotional moment for everyone, but the little infant, when army paratrooper Mukut Bihari Meena’s body was brought to his village Ladaniya in Jhalawar district of Rajasthan for his last rites. 25-year-old Meena died fighting militants in Kashmir on July 11. In an encouraging and emotional letter written to the infant that he shared on Facebook, Jhalawar district collector Jitendra Soni wrote, “You sat on the coffin and lied on that without crying. Moments before, you had seen the face of your father. It was very emotional. I and all the Army officers were watching you doing this and I know everyone of us were thinking in our own respective ways but your innocence and your father were at the centre of our thoughts. Not only this area, but the blessings of every responsible and sensible citizen of the entire country with you. Grow well and make your father’s glorious martyrdom your pride”.
Little Aaru, Meena’s daughter, held the burning stick along with her grandfather before he completed the formalities of lighting the funeral pyre. The little baby was also made to sit and lie down on the coffin as part of a ritual. Another heart-wrenching photo of the infant was shared by PRO Defence Rajasthan, which showed the little one stooping on the national flag, as it was being handed over to Meena’s father by senior army officials.