Colonel Santosh Mahadik was killed by militants in the Manigah forest area in the frontier district of Kupwara in North Kashmir.
Mahadik was leading the army’s elite Special Forces from the front in an encounter and laid down his life while fighting the terrorists.
Colonel Mahadik was the commanding officer of anti-terror force 41 Rashtriya Rifles and always led from the front, according to his colleagues.
During the encounter, the militants fired indiscriminately on the soldiers, resulting in bullet injuries to Colonel Mahadik. He was immediately airlifted to Srinagar where he succumbed to his injuries, a police official said. At the same time, a police constable along with a solider of territorial army was also injured in the firing and both of them were taken to the hospital.
A recipient of a Sena Medal for his Operation Rhino in the North-East in 2003, he specially volunteered to command a battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles (RR), the Army’s specialized counter-insurgency force in J&K.
Security personal carrying injured Colonel Santosh Mahadik who later on succumbed to his injuries. indianexpress
He was at forefront in dealing with the counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir against militants. Lt. Gen DS Hooda, Commander of Northern command expressed his deep condolences for the family and called him a brave officer.
“He paid the ultimate price for fighting terrorism. We owe a deep debt of gratitude to officers like him,”
Meanwhile, the army today intensified search operations in Manigah area of Kupwara where a colonel was killed and two other security personnel were injured.
The search operations have also been launched in adjoining Kalaroos, Hyhama and Trumnard villages.
Sources in the army told Greater Kashmir
that commandos are being air-dropped in the jungle to focus on the militants hiding somewhere in the area.
Search operations has been taking place in these mountains after the death of Colonel. twitter
Army helicopters are hovering in the area from last night to track down the three militants who gave slip to forces after inflicting casualties three times in past week. The wreath laying ceremony was held by the army to honour Col. Mahadik in Srinagar.
Col. Mahadik has left behind his wife Sashwati, an 11-year-old-daughter and a five-year-old son.
Floral tributes paid to Col. Santosh Mahadik in Srinagar. greaterkashmir
Colonel Mahadik was the second senior officer killed this year while fighting terrorists in Kashmir. Earlier, Colonel M. N Rai, commanding officer of 42 Rashtriya Rifles was killed in January in an encounter with terrorists in south Kashmir’s Tral area.
Indian soldiers carrying the coffin of Indian army officer Col. M.N. Rai who was killed in a gunbattle in Tral in January this year.Indianexpress
Chief Minister of J&K, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has expressed his sorrow on the death of Colonel and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and many others tweeted and offered condolences to the family. The son of a milkman in Maharashtra, Santosh Mahadik stepped away from the family trade to join the army. Friends describe him as a champion boxer, goalkeeper and runner; one of the fittest boys in school.