Tributes to Four crew
members of MI-17 Helicopter Gunship
bodies of the four crew members of the MI-17 helicopter gunship that was
shot down by an American Stinger Missile in Kargil on Friday will be recovered
by the evening, an air force official said today. The four martyrs who
died in this crash include:
Leader Pundhir, 37, was an avid pilot and had over 3,000 hours of operational
flying to his credit. He had flown almost all the helicopters in the IAF
fleet and had actively participated in Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka. He
was awarded the CAS commendation for his dedication to duty and professionalism
in 1988. He is survived by his wife Sharmila and two children, Bhavya (7)
and Karan (5). He was born and educated in Dehra Dun.
Squadron Leader Rajiv Pundhir,
Flight Lieutenant S. Muhilan,
Sergeant Raj Kishore Sahu and
Sergeant P V N R Prasad .
Lieutenant Muhilan, 27, was considered one of the best shots in rocketry.
The officer who had 1250 hours of flying to his credit belonged to Karnataka.
He leaves behind a wife, Bina, and a two-year-old son, Dhruv.
Sahu, 28, was a flight engineer with 360 hours of flying on the MI-17.
An extremely sincere and dedicated flier, he was always willing to undertake
any flying mission, the air force said. Sergeant Prasad who was a flight
gunner had been awarded a commendation by the AOC-in-C in 1995 for his
devotion to duty. He had 1200 hours of accident and incident free flying
to his credit. He is survived by his wife Anuradha and a three-and-a-half-year-old
Sergeant Pilla Venkata Narayan Ravi, 33 was a dedicated and patriotic young
flier. He was born on India's Independence Day, August 15, 1965.
addition the army today lost a truly valiant officer, Major M Sarvanan
of the 1st Bihar Regiment. Major Sarvanan took on the Islamic terrorists
head on in hand-to-hand action in the Batalik sector. Leading a company
of around 70 to 80 men, his troops encircled around 15 to 20 infiltrators
who held a mountain peak and attacked the enemy, claiming five enemy lives.
Major Saravan himself did not succumb to his injuries until after he had
killed four of the Islamic terrorists.
All of us are
immensely proud of the calibre and bravery of these Indian patriots who
gave up their lives in an effort to preserve our nation's territorial integrity.
We hope and pray for the safety of our 30,000 troops in Kashmir and convey
our deepest condolences and heartfelt gratitude to the loved ones of these
Courtesy: The sword of Truth - www.swordoftruth.com