Last rites of martyred Mahadik held with full military honours
Last rites of the martyred Santosh Mahadik were performed in his village with full military honours. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar paid respects and assured his family members of full support. Mahadik's wife told the minister that both her children would join the defense services. Martyred Col. Santosh Mahadik, who had been awarded for his gallantry, was 37 at the time of his death.
Much more than just a soldier
Mahadik came from a very humble background, his father was a milkman who supplied milk to the Sainik School (Mahadik's alma mater) in the Satara district of Maharashtra. Apart from being an accomplished soldier, he was also a great boxer. He was a goalkeeper on his school's football team which won the state championship.
An accomplished and valiant officer
Commissioned into the Army in December 1998, Col Mahadik was an "accomplished paratrooper and combat underwater diver". He was awarded the Sena Medal for gallantry in 2003 during Operation Rhino in the North-East and steadily rose to the rank of a Colonel. He volunteered to take the command of Rashtriya Rifles (RR), the Army's specialized counter-insurgency force in J&K.
Col. Mahadik's courageous sacrifice
Colonel Santosh Mahadik led his soldiers for a week on the Kupwara mission. The operation was to search for terrorists who had crossed the border and were hiding in the jungles of Kupwara in Kashmir. The Kupwara operation was unusually challenging because of the unfriendly terrain, but Mahadik had himself chosen to lead this operation. He was shot in the head on 17 November.
Second officer to be killed in Kashmir face-off
Colonel Mahadik was the second senior officer killed (after Col Munindra Nath Rai) while fighting terrorists in Kashmir and also the second martyr from his village.
Army pays respect to the gallant martyr
The Army paid tribute to Col. Mahadik, a day before his funeral. Lieutenant General DS Hooda, Army Commander, Northern Command said, "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." The Army praised Mahadik's many successful counter-terrorist operations and his bravery.