Vizianagaram: Routh Jagadish, a soldier of the paramilitary forces, who was killed in the encounter with the Maoists in Bijapur forests of Chhattisgarh on Saturday had his marriage planned for 22 May and had planned shopping for the same on 6 April (Tuesday). The untimely death of the local youth shocked the entire town. Hundreds of people came out in rallies and raised slogans praising his sacrifice. His garlanded portraits were seen all over town. On Monday evening, a bike rally was taken out from the central part of the town to his home in Gajularega on the outskirts as a tribute to his valour and courage.

Friends of Jagadish said his parents, Ramanamma and Simhachalam, were inconsolable. They had started preparations Jagadish's marriage as he was busy with his duties.

"He called me four days ago and told me that he would be arriving today and would start shopping for wedding clothes from Tuesday onwards. That was the last call from him. Later, his superior officers broke the news of his death,'' Jagadish father Simhachalam said.

He said Jagadish studied in a local school and completed his degree in a private college. He dreamed of joining the Armed Forces since childhood. He finally made it in 2014 and joined the Cobra 210 company of the CRPF. Recently, he was transferred to Assam and was sent to Chhattisgarh for anti-Maoist operations. "His superior officers appreciated his skills in the operation and praised him for saving his commandant during the exchange of the fire,'' Simhachalam said.

His family members said the body was on its way to Vizianagaram and cremation has been planned for Tuesday early hours. A state funeral would be accorded which would be attended by joint collector G.C. Kishore and Superintendent of Police B. Raja Kumari.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed his condolences and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 30 lakhs to the family. Jagan also promised to provide financial help to another jawan, Shakamarri Murali Krishna of Guntur, who also lost his life during the gun battle with the Maoists.

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