Thursday, April 08, 2010

Kolathur weeps in memory of its brave son

G Saravanan

First Published : 09 Apr 2010 04:57:00 AM IST

Last Updated : 09 Apr 2010 09:46:10 AM IST

CHENNAI: CRPF constable R Mohana Rangan managed to give death the slip. Twice. But the third time around, he was not so lucky — ‘Operation Green Hunt’ proved to be his undoing. He was killed in the deadly ambush laid by the Maoists at the Dantewada forest in Chhattisgarh on April 6.

Hailing from Poompuhar Nagar in Kolathur, his fate seemed to be sealed the day (April 5) he informed his family members over phone that his team was embarking on a “tough mission”. Perhaps, his family members would never have imagined that that would be the last time they would ever hear from him.

Barely 10 hours later, on the morning of April 6, TV stations had begun broadcasting what they termed ‘breaking news’ — Maoists had massacred 76 CPRF personnel at Chhattisgarh. At Rangan’s house, family members sat glued to their television set, waiting for updates, even as a pall of gloom descended over the entire household.

Since Rangan had informed them about the operation, his family members made frantic efforts to get the latest information on his status, and it took more than a day coupled with umpteen telephone calls to different CRPF offices, to receive the news his family would have gladly done without: “Rangan mar gaya” (Rangan is dead).

Born into a traditional joint family consisting of 11 brothers and sisters, 45-year-old Rangan is survived by his wife Sujatha and a 13-year-old daughter, Anusha. Prior to this, he had also served in the Black Cat Commando unit for about 10 years and was part of BJP leader LK Advani’s security.

Keeping a stoic appearance in the face of tragedy, Rangan’s brother Raghupati hailed him as a brave son, born as he was into a family of freedom fighters. Recalling his early brushes with death, Raghupati said, “Rangan was unlucky the third time. He had survived two such incidents earlier. While in Tripura during 2000, Rangan almost died when his commando unit was caught in an explosion, but he survived with severe fractures to his skull. Likewise, for the second time, he survived another brutal attack by terrorists in Chhattisgarh some six months ago. But the third time on Tuesday, Rangan was unlucky.”“We feel honoured that Rangan died a martyr, the biggest sacrifice that anybody could make for his motherland.”

Fondly known as Danganna to his friends and relatives, Rangan was a role model to many youngsters in the Kolathur locality, awed as they were with tales of his valour and bravery.

“Whenever he came to Kolathur on two months’ leave each year, the youth here would tease him about his luxuriant moustache. We are definitely going to miss him,” said a youth who reached there just in time to catch a glimpse of his beloved Rangan for one last time.

Sekar hailed from a family of agriculturists

Like Mohana Rangan, D Sekar (37), a CRPF head constable from Vellore, also laid down his life in service of the nation in the deadly Dantewada ambush. Sekar, who was attached to the 62 battalion of the CRPF, belonged to Thokkiyam village near Tirupattur. Sekar hailed from a family of agriculturists and is survived by his wife Umamaheshwari (31) and two daughters, Gopikashri (3) and Harinishri (6 months). He was the only son of his parents. His body would be laid to rest with State honours on Friday morning.

Rs 5 lakh to jawans’ kin

Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Thursday sanctioned Rs 5 lakh each for the families of the three CRPF personnel, who were killed in the ambush by maoists in Chattisgarh.The three CRPF personnel from Tamil Nadu are Mohanarangan from Kolathur, Vijayakumar from Ananthamangalam and Sekar from Thokkiyam village. Expressing deep grief over the tragic incident, the CM ordered that the assistance be given to the families immediately.

No comments: