Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said that the supreme sacrifice by Col Santosh Mahadik was more important than actor Aamir Khan's remarks on intolerance.
"This (the brave officer's sacrifice) is more serious than that," Pawar told reporters when asked about the actor's comments, which have snowballed into a major controversy. Pawar was at Pogarwadi in Satara district today to meet family members of Col Mahadik.
Famous for being the village of soldiers, Pogarwadi residents on Thursday bid a tearful adieu to 37-year-old Col Mahadik, who was martyred during a fierce gun battle with militants in north Kashmir's Kupwara district.
Mourners had flocked to the tiny village from different parts of the state, with serving and retired officers attending the funeral. The officer, who originally belonged to the elite 21 Para unit of the Special Forces, was awarded Sena Medal (Gallantry) for his exceptional service and leadership as a young officer.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar visited the family in the village on Thursday and assured them of government support in their hour of grief. Talking about her children, Kartikee and Swaraj, Col Mahadik's wife Swati had told the minister that both would join the armed forces.
Born on January 15, 1977, Col Mahadik was commissioned into the Army in 1998. The son of a milkman, Col Mahadik studied at the Satara Sainik School.