SENIOR AIR Force officers on Thursday paid tribute to two IAF Garud Commandos killed in encounter with terrorists in Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday. Sergeant Milind Kishor Khairnar and Corporal Nilesh Kumar Nayan had earlier been posted in 12 Wing, Air Force Station, Chandigarh, before they were sent on deputation with the Special Forces of the Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir. Their bodies were brought to Chandigarh late on Wednesday night and on Thursday, sent by IAF aircraft to their native places in Maharashtra and Bihar, respectively.
Wreaths were placed by Air Vice-Marshal S K Jha, AOC, Advance Air Headquarters, Western Command, Air Commodore Arun Saklani, AOC 12 Wing, Air Commodore S K Sinha, AOC 3 BRD and other officers and colleagues of the two commandos.
Khairnar and Nayan, who were grievously injured in the encounter, succumbed to injury at the hospital. They were part of of a joint team with the Army during the combined cordon and search operation in the Hajin village of Bandipora. Two terrorists were also killed in the encounter.
While Sergeant Khairnar is survived by his wife, daughter and son, aged 2 years and 7 years, respectively, Corporal Nayan is survived by his wife and one-year-old child.