Naik Velu Satish of MEG&C with wife Sumitha and twin-sons Dinakar and Diwakar. (Below) Satish at the War Memorial at MEG&C.
Satish being honoured at MEG recently. (Below) He receiving the Keerthi Chakra from Indian President.
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News ServiceBangalore: “My wife was screaming and couldn't control her pain. She was almost 10-month pregnant. She was holding on to me , when the message came. When I was speaking she had drifted to sleep. It was probably the toughest moment in my life. I did not wake her up. I had to leave her alone. But then she knew what my job was,” Naik Velu Satish, the 34-year-old braveheart from the ranks of Indian Army's MEG & Centre (12 Engineer Regiment), spoke to Express in a mix of Tamil and broken English.
“Bombay Operation Pathi Ethuvum Kekkadeenga (Don't ask anything about the Bombay Operation),” Satish, the 26/11 hero who was part of Op Black Tornado in Mumbai's Nariman House, set the rules straight, when he was cleared for a conditional interaction with Express in Bangalore. Satish, a Keerthi Chakra recipient, was honoured during a Passing out Parade at MEG recently. His family could resemble a mini-battalion, with two of his brothers already in Army, with his late father too serving the nation.
At Nariman House on November 28 (2008), Satish was part of small team from the 51 Special Action Group (SAG) of National Security Guard (NSG), who that took control of the 4th Floor. According to the Defence Investiture Ceremony (2009) citation records, it was Satish's utter disregard for his personal safety that helped locate the terrorists under fierce firing. He helped his Team Commander in creating an entry through the wall by planting improvised explosives. “Immediately after the wall blasted, Satish jumped inside the room and killed a terrorist from close range. He lost one of his buddies in the operation (Hawildar Jittender Singh), but Satish's stunning courage under fire made all the difference,” Army sources said, referring to records.
Back in Delhi after the successful operation, Satish rushed his wife Sumitha to the hospital only to get a mouthful from the doctors as she was already in a very-advanced stage of pregnancy. “I am thankful to God for giving me twin-sons. I strongly believe my buddies (Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and Havildar Jittender Singh) are reborn in the form of my kids (Dinakar & Diwakar). I am hoping to get a posting to NSG again,” says Satish.
While his mother Savithri leads the proud soldier-sons at home, she is not happy at heart. “I am supposed to be a Veer Thai (Brave Mother) with three of my sons in the Army. In Tamil Nadu, if a mother sends more than two of her sons to Army, she is eligible for many benefits and I haven't got anything. After Satish got the Keerthi Chakra, we received two cheques (Rs 75,000 and Rs 12,000) from TN government, but no land. Even the Karnataka government didn't congratulate him despite Satish belonging to MEG,” Savithri told this newspaper over phone from Unai Mottur village (Anaicut), in Vellore, Tamil Nadu.
None of his villagers, neighbours and teachers at Higher Secondary School in Anaicut know that it was their boy who did the brave deed in Mumbai.
HIS WISH: A photo with Arjun, 5 min with Sachin!
At the NSG HQ in Manesar, Satish had once interacted with cricketers Sachin, Dhoni and Harbhajan soon after Op Black Tornado. “I am waiting for Sachin to score his 100th Century. I am hoping to have five minutes with him to show him my Keerthi Chakra Medal. Sachin had told me that he was very proud of our achievements. I am a great fan of Tamil actor Arjun who is widely known as Action King. His films Muthalvan and Gentleman are my favourites. I hope to meet him once only to get a photograph clicked along with him,”says Satish with a child-like smile. And for the record, this braveheart can prepare spicy chicken curry in just under 25 minutes!
Copyright@The New Indian Express