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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Original hero of Galwan, a Warkari at heart, Lt Col Hasabnis dies at 90

Nana stayed in China as a prisoner of war for seven months before he was repatriated on May 7, 1963.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
January 11, 2022 9:18:12 am
Colonel Yeshwantrao Mulay and Colonel Shrikant Hasabnis (right) being felicitated by students of St Hilda's High School. (Express photo By Sandeep Daundkar)

Decorated war hero Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Sitaram Hasabnis, 90, passed away on Sunday after a long battle with heart and lung infections.

An alumnus of the first course of the National Defence Academy and Defence Services Staff College, he served in the Indian Army for 25 years.

Fondly referred to as Nana, Lt Col Hasabnis’s 5 Jat battalion was the first plains troops unit to be inducted in Ladakh, in early 1962, to relieve the exclusively hills troops units then deployed in the high-altitude northern borders.

He was named by his Commanding Officer to take his Company to Galwan, where his first task was to convert the fiercely vegetarian Jat troops to be prepared to eat tinned non-vegetarian meals, since it was not possible to cook vegetarian meals at the remote post.

Nana stayed in China as a prisoner of war for seven months before he was repatriated on May 7, 1963. Thereafter, he raised the 16 Jat battalion.

For his many successful operations, Nana was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM).

In the 1971 war for liberation of Bangladesh, Nana once again led his troops from the front. In 1977, Nana took voluntary retirement.

A trustee of the Dnyaneshwar Maharaj Mandir, Alandi, he had been undertaking the Pandharpur Wari on foot for 25 years. He was a Wari Pramukh for three years.

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