Parents of Army Hero Forced to Drive 2,000 km for His Last Rites
Colonel Navjot Singh Bal, a Shaurya Chakra awardee lost his life to cancer in Bengaluru on 9 April.
Parents of a decorated army hero are taking a strenuous 2,000-km journey to perform their son’s last rites after bureaucratic hurdles denied them a flight in a military aircraft. The family is currently driving down from Gurugram to Bengaluru.
Colonel Navjot Singh Bal, a Shaurya Chakra awardee and former commanding officer of 2 Para Regiment (Special Forces) lost his life to cancer in Bengaluru on 9 April.
According to reports, when the family approached the government they were told that the requests made for a military aircraft to transport them did not materialise as the required orders for the Indian Air Force to fly his parents were not issued.
However, the family was issued permissions for movement by the Ministry of Home Affairs and they decided to drive down to Bengaluru.
The Karnataka Police has issued an order allowing the parents’ vehicle to pass amid restrictions during the coronavirus lockdown.
Colonel Bal, who was commissioned in the Indian Army in 2002, won Shaurya Chakra, the third highest peacetime gallantry award, for his role in an operation in Jammu and Kashmir’s Lolab.
He was diagnosed with cancer in 2018; and in 2019, his right hand had to be amputated.
Despite this, he continued to command and even learnt to use a weapon from his left hand. However, once the disease reached a severe stage, he gave up the command and came to Bengaluru for further treatment.
Bal’s father Lt Col Karnail Singh Bal is a retired officer of Garhwal Rifles.
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