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India resides in her villages. Proving the proverb to be true, the brave heart from remote village in Satara, Colonel Santosh Mahadik, followed his patriotic fervor from the childhood and joined the army. While deeply rooted in his village he did tours of duty across the country where the army needed him. He proved his credentials when he earned a Sena Medal while operating in Lolab Valley in Kashmir in 2003.

Always eager to take on tougher tasks and prove himself, he joined the prestigious special forces and rose through sheer dedication and hard work to command 41 Rashtriya Rifles, employed in counter insurgency operations. He always led from the front and remained rock solid in face of adversity. While leading operations in a difficult terrain, he was Martyred on 17 Nov in Kupwara District. His mortal remains arrived at the Lohegaon airport in Pune by special Air Force aircraft from Srinagar. The remains were brought to National War Memorial Pune in a flower decked army vehicle. Large no of civil, military officials and veterans had gathered to pay their homage. After a solemn ceremony in which, large number of civil and military officers alongwith General Ashok Singh,PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC General Officer Commanding in Chief Southern Command and the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Mr Devendra Fadnavis paid their tributes, the remains were sent to his village for last rites by road.

Hearing about his martyrdom, a huge crowd turned out for his last rites on 19 Nov 15. Mr Manohar Parrikar, the Raksha Mantri travelled to his village home to pay his tribute to martyred Colonel Mahadik and his family members. While offering condolences to the family, he stated that the country will continue to support the bereaved family so that they can continue with their endeavours inspite of the grave personal loss.

Moved by the outpouring of spontaneous support from the country and mirroring the indomitable spirit of her martyred husband, the wife of colonel Mahadik, Swati told Raksha Mantri that she is proud to be wife of colonel Mahadik who distinguished himself as much in life and as in death.

With such valiant and resilient outlook of the family in the face of most debilitating setback, the concept and tradition of Indian Army lives on.

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