Police and security personnel bid a tearful adieu to a fellow officer who died during treatment after being severely injured in a Maoist attack in Gaya, Bihar.
The body of slain assistant commandant Vjiay Kumar Singh of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was brought to his camp battalion 159 for ceremonial homage after his death during treatment in New Delhi.
Singh had sustained serious injuries and was battling for life after being blown by a landmine planted by Maoists on October 18 in Barha forests. Six other CRPF personnel had died during the attack.
A senior official of the CRPF said Singh's martyrdom would inspire the security forces in the battle against rebels.
"Where it concerns the anti Maoist operation, our cadres would take this incident as an inspiration to fight with bravery. His martyrdom would not go waste," said Umesh Kumar, Deputy Inspector General, CRPF.
Meanwhile a beeline of security officers, relatives and locals gathered to pay their last respects at the event.
Singh's elderly father and young son were inconsolable as they were handed the body by security personnel.
In the last few years, the Maoists have stepped up their attacks against the government and locals.
Maoists have also significantly increased their presence in tribal and rural regions in the states of Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha.
The Maoists say they are fighting for the rights of millions of landless labourers and marginal farmers.
However, the government has termed them to be India's main internal security threat and an obstacle to higher growth and more jobs in Asia's third-largest economy.
Hundreds die annually in the conflict, although levels of violence have fallen in recent years. (ANI)