The last rites of Colonel Santosh Mahadik, the Commanding Officer of 41 Rashtriya Rifles, who was killed during an exchange of firing, in Kupwara District of North Kashmir, were performed today in Santara district, in Maharashtra.
Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar along with other officials, paid tribute to the 38-year-old officer. Mahadik was killed in a fierce gun battle with terrorists, who had infiltrated from across the border.
Colonel Mahadik, who was from Maharashtra, is survived by his wife and two children. He made a supreme sacrifice while leading his troops in the operation, from the front. The operations continued even as the officer breathed his last, while reinforcements rushed in.
As part of Operation Rhino, Mahadik had already been honoured with a Sena Medal for gallantry exhibited in counter terrorist operations in the North East.
J&K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed conveyed his heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved family and prayed for the peace of the departed soul.
Lt General DS Hooda, Army Commander of Northern Command, also expressed deep condolences on the loss of this brave Commanding Officer. “We owe a deep debt of gratitude to officers like Santosh who lead from the front and are willing to pay the ultimate price in the fight against terrorism,” he said.