Srinagar, Jan 28: Colonel Munindra Nath Rai, a braveheart who was awarded the Yudh Seva Medal on Jan 26th, laid his life at the front on Jan 27th. He led a group of 12 soldiers on being tipped off about terrorists hiding in a house in south Kashmir's Pulwama district. The 39 year old is the highest-ranking military officer to be killed in fighting in the region in nearly a year.
The Yudh Seva Medal or YSM is awarded for the highest degree of distinguished service in a war or conflict.
In an intense gunbattle at the Mindora village, the colnel, a policeman Sanjeev Singh and two terrorists were killed in the encounter. The commander of the 42 Rashtriya Rifles, he reached the house with a quick reaction team and the local SOG of the Jammu and Kashmir Police. When they cordoned off the house, the residents suspected to be relatives of the terrorists requested them not to carry out an full-scale operation, as that would entail sequestering the entire village.
AS the colnel and his team members were negotiating and chalking the plan, two militants rushed out firing blindly. The colonel was hit at the temple and wounded fatally, the SoG was killed. The radio operator, who shot down the two terrorists, was injured.
The Colonel died at the hospital.
He was known for his bravery among his fellow officers and is survived by his wife and three children.
His fellow officers knew him as a brave soldier who always led from the front. He is survived by his wife and three children.