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Colonel Bal cremated with full military honours in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, April 13 (IANS) Colonel Navjot Singh Bal’s final rites were conducted in the city with full military honours, an Indian Army official said on Monday.

“The final rites were conducted on Monday at Bengaluru and was attended by the family (Bal’s), veterans and officers and JCOs from units and centres in Bengaluru,” said an Army official in a statement.

Bal died of a rare aggressive cancer called Osteosarcoma, diagnosed in June 2018 which also lead to the amputation of his right arm.

The Indian flag was draped on the coffin containing his mortal remains.

His cremation was held at an undisclosed location, attended by his wife and two children, parents, brother and other family members and military personnel.

In the prevailing coronavirus contagion, people who attended the cremation wore masks amid military salutes and honours.

According to the Army, despite the amputation and cancer, Bal displayed indomitable spirit to participate in a 21 km half marathon.

A Shaurya Chakra gallantry award winner, Bal was born on October 11, 1980 at Pauri District in Uttarakhand. His father Lt Col (Retired) Karnail Singh was a 1971 war veteran.

Admitted in NDA Khadakwasla in 1998, Bal was renowned for his outstanding sportsmanship, fitness and mental acumen.

After passing out of IMA in 2002, he volunteered for the Special Forces. Later, he was selected to be Para Commando in the elite Para SF Unit.”Bal continued to excel in all spheres of military career and he was selected as an Instructor at IMTRAT, Bhutan where he trained the Bhutanese Army,” said the Army.

After the foreign assignment, he was inducted into counter insurgency operations where he engaged in numerous firefights with terrorists.

“In one such daring operation he displayed raw courage and valour, eliminating two terrorists for which he was awarded the ‘Shaurya Chakra’. Subsequently, he was selected for UN peace keeping mission in Congo,” the Army said.

Approved to the rank of a Colonel in March 2018, Bal was later chosen to command the elite Para SF Battalion.

The Indian Army said Bal was a rare breed of officer who inspires even when they themselves are faced with utter daunting circumstances.

“A true special forces warrior, he is a testimony of grit and unquenchable zeal. He lived by the adage ‘You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only option available’. His life shall inspire generations to come,” the Army added.

–IANS

sth/kr

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