Colonel Viplav Tripathi who died in the line of duty along with four other soldiers on Saturday in an ambush by terrorists in Manipur near the India-Myanmar border was paid the final respects on Monday. The terror attack also killed his wife Anuja and son Abeer, triggering a huge wave of emotions across the country. His hometown – Chhattisgarh’s Raigarh – was wrapped in a somber mood as their last rites were performed.
Amid full state and military honors, the ceremonial farewell was attended by a solemn gathering of thousands where Colonel Tripathi’s parents were also present. A video showed the security personnel offering gun salutes. The hometown was closed as a mark of respect to Colonel Tripathi and his family.
Ceremonial farewell to Braveheart Colonel Viplav Tripathi &his wife and son. pic.twitter.com/7mM1ba2Shr
— PIB in Chhattisgarh (@PIBRaipur) November 15, 2021
“The heaviest coffin” was how many on social media paid tribute to Abeer Tripathi with the 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 also 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.
Heaviest coffin, if this doesn’t move you, NOTHING will!
— Tahir Ashraf (@Tahir_A) November 15, 2021
The dastardly attack is strongly condemnable. Targeting family and child is an act of Cowardliness and too Low.
— LT GENERAL GURMIT SINGH (Retd) (@LtGenGurmit) November 14, 2021
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 & 8 year old son.
My heartfelt condolences to families of the martyred Assam Rifles jawans & Col. Viplav Tripathi. pic.twitter.com/KNJd6pR5s3
— Major Gaurav Arya (Retd) (@majorgauravarya) November 14, 2021
A huge number of people had also turned up at Colonel Tripathi’s house on Monday to pay tributes to him, news agency 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)