Rakesh Chauhan funeral: Thousands honour RAF officer

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Media captionA service was held for Flt Lt Rakesh Chauhan

About 2,000 people lined a street in Leicester in honour of an RAF officer who died when his helicopter crashed in Afghanistan.

Intelligence officer, Flt Lt Rakesh Chauhan, 29, from Cropston, was killed alongside four others on 27 April.

People along Belgrave Road, also known as the Golden Mile, paid tribute to him on Thursday morning.

The funeral took place at Loughborough Crematorium with full military honours.

Prayers and chanting met the cortege when it reached a sari shop belonging to Flt Lt Chauhan's family.

Rajinder Bular, who is a friend of the Chauhans, said: "I've been with the family nearly a month now. They feel proud as ever for their son. He's done very good and given his life for his country and he's died as a hero.

"On this sad occasion the family are very overwhelmed because so many came to support them."

Image caption Prayers met the cortege when it reached a shop belonging to the officer's family

'Charismatic and loyal'

Dharmesh Lakhani, chair of Belgrave Business Association, said the community wanted to support the family.

Flt Lt Chauhan, who was born in Birmingham, was on his third tour of Afghanistan and was described as charismatic and loyal, with a contagious sense of humour.

He died along with Capt Thomas Clarke, Warrant Officer Class 2 Spencer Faulkner and Cpl James Walters from the Army Air Corps, and L/Cpl Oliver Thomas, of the Intelligence Corps.

An investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing but the Ministry of Defence said it happened during a routine flight.

Image caption Flt Lt Rakesh Chauhan, who was on his third tour of Afghanistan, was described as charismatic and loyal with a contagious sense of humour

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