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Lance Naik B Sai Teja spoke to wife on video call hours before chopper crash

Teja, who was among the 13 who died in the crash, leaves behind his wife Syamala, a homemaker, two children aged 5 and 2, and parents.

Written by Sreenivas Janyala | Chittoor |
Updated: December 9, 2021 4:28:31 pm
Rescue officals at the spot where an IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter crashed in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. (PTI)

Four hours before the chopper carrying him and 13 others, including Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat, crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu, Lance Naik B Sai Teja, 27, made a video call to his wife in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh.

Teja, who was among the 13 who died in the crash, leaves behind his wife Syamala, a homemaker, two children aged 5 and 2, and parents.

His father B Mohan, a farmer in Regadapalle village in Chittoor district, says Teja, who joined the Army in 2012 during a recruitment drive in Guntur, joined 11 Para in 2016 and was appointed Personal Security Officer (PSO) to Gen Rawat about seven months ago.

“He always wanted to join the Army and started preparing for it after his Class 10. He used to run 10 km every morning and exercise. Even when he came home on leave, he continued that practice. He was very passionate about the Army. He was also a cricketer and used to play in local tournaments,’’ he says, adding Teja studied in the village school till his Class 10 and completed his graduation from Guntur.

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Mohan says he and his wife B Bhuvaneswari shuttle between the village and Madanpalle town in Chittoor district, where Teja moved his wife and children last year so that they can go to a better school.

Teja’s younger brother B Mahesh is also in the Army.

Teja last come home in September on a month-long leave and was to come again for a short break during Sankranti next month, says Mohan.

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