Army Sunday paid tributes to their soldiers who were killed in an encounter between forces and militants in which five militants and two army men were killed while four others sustain injuries in Marsari, Chowkibal area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district. Army in a statement issued to KNS said that soldiers lived buddies, they served buddies and buddies they embraced martyrdom in the highest traditions of the organisation and nation they served and died for. And in this sacrifice, they redefined camaraderie. In a solemn ceremony, Army today paid homage to its soldiers, Late Naik Shinde Shankar Chandrabhan and Gnr Sahadev Maruti Shinde at Badami Bagh Cantt in Srinagar. Naik Shinde and Gnr Sahadev were the leading scouts of the team of Army and JKP that had launched a search operation in Zonreshi Village, Chowkibal in Kupwara Distt on 12 Feb16. As is often the case in such counter terrorist operations where the security forces take the first hit because terrorists invariably take shield of the civilians, the soldiers came under an intense volley of fire. Being the scouts Naik Shinde Shankar and Gnr Sahadev Maruti bore the brunt but true to their reputation for selfless bravado and grit, they, despite being grievously wounded, immediately retaliated with fire and prevented the terrorists from firing with impunity. Despite being mortally wounded, they continued fighting the terrorists leading eventually to their elimination. The duo seemed to have been meant for each other. Though coming from two different parent Units (of Infantry and Artillery) with almost ten years separating them in age and service, they began their tenures in the 41 Rashtriya Rifles unit together in Jun 2015. And in this short span of time, this potent mix of experience and youthful vigor had not only become inseparable buddies but had also carved a niche for themselves as ‘sharp scouts’ and had been part of numerous operations. Ever volunteer for one challenging mission after another, the two embodied the true spirit of the ‘buddy system’ in the Army that encourages true comradeship between soldiers. They lived by this spirit and they breathed their last lending more to that spirit. Late Naik Shinde Shankar Chandrabhan The 34 year old Naik Shinde had joined 11 Maratha LI Battalion in Sep 2000. Right from his days of initial training in Army recruitment Centre he was known for his determination and resilience. With an elder brother also in the Army who is now a JCO in 5 PARA battalion, soldiering came naturally to him. It was his passion for adventure and challenges that made him volunteer for RR again after an earlier stint in the same unit in 2006-07. He had also been deployed as a UN peacekeeper in South Sudan during a very restive period in 2012 where again he had discharged his duties with aplomb. His exceptional instructional capabilities and tactical acumen had earned him the nickname ‘Master’ by which he was fondly called by his fellow soldiers. His humble agricultural family background always reflected in his humility, caring and giving nature. Late Naik Shinde is survived by his wife Smt Suvarna and two young children – 6 year old daughter, Vaishnavi, and a year and a half old son Om besides aging parents. Late Gnr Sahadev Maruti More Fondly called Maurya by peers for his indomitable spirit, the young 26 years old Gunner Sahadev was the youngest of three brothers who also came from a humble family of farmers in Bijapur, Karnataka. Good at academics with a first division in tenth standard, he was also a keen and proficient sportsman having represented his district in Kabaddi and Volleyball. His passion for adventure saw him getting enrolled in the army at Belgaum in 2011 and joined 158 Medium Regt. Endowed with leadership qualities he would naturally assume responsibility even during the rigorous Endurance runs and other competitions during his recruitment training. Sharp in intellect and highly professional, he had already passed the potential NCO cadrewithin five years of service. The Army Men is survived by his old parents and in fact, was about to turn a new leaf in life in a week’s time when he was to proceed on leave for his marriage to a girl he had seen only last year. The progressive man that he was, he had insisted on delaying the marriage so that his prospective bride could complete her education. Saluting the heroes, Lt Gen Satish Dua Chinar Corps Commander said ‘In their sacrifice, they have inspired an entire generation of soldiers- and will continue to inspire generations of ‘soldiers to be’. Standing and eventually falling for and by one’s comrade, Nk Shinde Shankar Chandrabhan and Gunner Sahadev Maruti More have redefined camaraderie and the entire nation salutes them.’ He further said that their families will forever remain the Army’s responsibility and that it will ensure they are looked after and lead a life of dignity and pride.
2015 Kashmir Despatch