“Heaviest Coffin”: Grief Over Killing Of Colonel’s Son, 8, In Manipur

The last rites of Colonel Tripathi and his wife and son were performed on Monday.

New Delhi:

Colonel Viplav Tripathi, who was killed in the line of duty along with his family and four other soldiers in a terror attack in Manipur, was laid to rest on Monday. On social media, posts from across the country express grief over the killing of the officer’s wife Anuja and eight-year-old son Abeer.

Thousands gathered at Colonel Tripathi’s hometown Raigarh in Chhattisgarh for the last rites that took place with full state and military honours. A video showed a gun salute at the ceremonial farewell attended by Colonel Tripathi’s parents.

“The heaviest coffin” was how many on social media paid tribute to little Abeer Tripathi, with a picture of his casket.

“Heaviest coffin, if this doesn’t move you, NOTHING will! Paying rich tributes to Col Viplav Tripathi, his wife and 10-year-old son who lost their lives recently in a terror attack in Manipur,” wrote Tahir Ashraf, a police officer from Jammu and Kashmir.

“Every soldier is prepared to lay down his life in battle. But there is an unwritten rule…families will not be targeted. They broke this rule. They killed his wife and 8-year-old son. My heartfelt condolences to families of the martyred Assam Rifles jawans & Col. Viplav Tripathi” wrote Major Gaurav Arya.

Uttarakhand Governor Lt General Gurmeet Singh offered “deepest condolences” to the “bereaved families”. “The dastardly attack is strongly condemnable. Targeting family and child is an act of cowardliness and too low,” he wrote in a tweet on Sunday

A large number of people also turned up at Colonel Tripathi’s home on Monday to pay tributes to him, PTI reported, adding that he was inspired by his freedom fighter grandfather Kishori Mohan Tripathi, who was also a member of the Constituent Assembly, a family member had said Kishori Mohan Tripathi died in 1994 when Viplav Tripathi was 14. It was his grandfather who inspired him to don the Army uniform, his maternal uncle Rajesh Patnaik told PTI.

Saturday’s terror attack in Manipur’s Churachandpur district was one of the deadliest in the region in recent times. Colonel Tripathi was on his way back from a forward camp when his convoy was ambushed.

Manipur-based terrorist groups People’s Liberation Army, or PLA, and Manipur Naga People’s Front, or MNPF, have claimed responsibility for the attack.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths and wrote: “Strongly condemn the attack on the Assam Rifles convoy in Manipur. I pay homage to those soldiers and family members who have been martyred today. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of sadness.”

(With inputs from PTI) 

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