Little more than a week after India lost a senior army officer, Colonel Santosh Mahadik in a gun-battle with terrorists, another senior military officer is currently battling for life in a Delhi hospital.
On 23 November in Jammu and Kashmir’s forest areas of Manigah in Kupwara, two army personnel, including a Lt Colonel were injured in an encounter with terrorists.
This brave colonel is none other than Karanbir Singh Natta, who is being treated in a Delhi hospital and his wife and a little child have no idea if the soldier will live to tell his story of bravery.
Known as Khalsa ji to his coursemates, the quiet but always cheerful Col KS Natta was originally commissioned into the 19th Battalion The Brigade of Guards on 5 September 1998. He was commissioned as a Short Service officer and after completion of his initial term of engagement with the army, he ought to have left to reap the benefits of civilian life replete with vast opportunities waiting for him.
But this soldier once again chose to be in uniform. Deewana, as Capt Dhankar (Retd) remembers him, has been an exceptional officer.
He says, “very few people have the courage to do what our Khalsa ji has done. Col Natta was re-commissioned into Territorial Army in 2010 as his love for uniform could not hold him back from action. Today as a thorough soldier when he is battling for his life the nation wishes him a speedy recovery.”
Col Natta was first removed to 92-Base hospital at Srinagar’s Badami Bagh Cantonment before being shifted to Delhi as his condition deteriorated.
One of his friends, told jantakareporter.com that the government ought to have honoured him with a suitable military decoration preferably Ashok Chakra.
He said,”But the sad reality is that no minister has bothered to visit him at the hospital. We are all praying for him as he has lost a lot of blood. Hope the brave soldier fights his way out of this battle.”