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Lt Colonel Vishwanathan

Lt Colonel Vishwanathan


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Description: At another home in another town in Kerala, cruel fate had struck. The father of Lt. Colonel Vishwanathan, another officer to die in the Kargil operation, put on a brave face, despite his grief. "We grieve the loss of our son. But we are also proud he has dedicated his life to the nation," said V Ramakrishnan, 60.
Anjali, Lt Colonel Vishwanathan's child, was seated on his lap with a distant look in her eyes. It is difficult to tell if the girl has fully understood what has happened though she is certain that something is amiss. Lt Colonel Vishwanathan, 39, should have been at home if the Kargil operation had not taken place. He had planned to reach Kochi on June 4 to take his wife and two children back to his base on June 21. Lt Colonel Vishwanathan, who did his schooling at Kochi, was commissioned in 1981 after completing his training at the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, and the IMA, Dehradun.

He had served with the Indian PeaceKeeping Force in Sri Lanka and later with the UN Peacekeeping Force in Angola. A classmate, Captain Srikumar said Viswanathan was a ''very dedicated person prepared to take any risk.'' The Kerala government has sanctioned Rs 500,000 each to the families of the two officers. Chief Minister E K Nayanar said one member each from the two families would be given a government job.

Lt Colonel Vishwanathan's mortal remains were consigned to the flames at his native village Eroor, on Sunday afternoon with full state honours. Vishwanathan's brother Venkatesh performed the last rites.

Earlier, when the body arrived from New Delhi by an Indian Airlines flight, Ramakrishnan received it on behalf of the state government, representatives of the army and navy and the district authorities ceremoniously. The body was kept for an hour at the statue junction at Thripunithura to enable the public to pay homage before being taken to his village.
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Date: 08.09.2004 03:56
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