Rane’s neighbours, family still in shock

The last rites of Major Kaustubh Rane (29), who was martyred during a gunfight with militants in the Gurez sector of Bandipora district in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday night, will be performed at Mira Road on Thursday.

Since the Indian Army had said that the mortal remains would arrive from Srinagar at 3 p.m., locals and media personnel gathered around Major Rane’s house in Sheetal Nagar where his family has been living for the last 30 years. However, the process got delayed and the last rites were postponed to Thursday morning.

Sudden loss

On Wednesday, family and friends tried to come to terms with the sudden loss.

His uncle, Pratap Rane, recalled that Major Rane would always make it a point to regularly call his parents. “Even if the conversation would only last a few seconds, he would call to assure them he was fine. We knew about the level of risk in such regions, but we didn’t expect something like this. We are all proud of Kaustubh.”

His neighbours in Mira Road remember him as a jovial person and are very proud of him. He was also interested in various sports. His father, Prakash Rane, is a retired executive from a private firm while his mother, Jyoti Rane, is a retired school teacher.

Major Rane, his family and friends say, was well-mannered and very intelligent. He had wanted to serve in the Army ever since he was a child. He completed his schooling from Holy Cross Convent School in Mira Road and graduated from Shailendra College in Dahisar with a degree in science.

After completing his military training in Pune, he joined the Army and was posted to Kupwara in 2011 as a lieutenant. In 2013, he was promoted to captain and posted in Kolkata. In January 2017, he was assigned to his current posting in Gurez where, in 2018, he was promoted to major.

He had been awarded a gallantry medal by the President this Republic Day and was supposed to be felicitated by the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation after his return to the city.

Major Rane is survived by his parents, sister Kashyapi, wife Kanika, and two-year-old son Agastya.

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