Braveheart pilot laid to rest 

Braveheart pilot laid to rest 

Officials salute IAF pilot Sqn Ldr Ninad Mandavgane during his funeral ceremony in Nashik.

Amidst cries of  'Bharat mata ki jai', IAF pilot Sqn Ldr Ninad Mandavgane, the pilot of the ill-fated Mi-17, was laid to rest in his hometown Nashik on Friday.

Sq Ldr Ninad (33) was one of the six air warriors who died after the Mi-17 V5 crashed in Budgam district of Jammu & Kashmir on Wednesday.

Ninad is survived by wife, Vijeta, and two-year-old daughter, Nia.

Cries of 'shahid Ninand amar rahe', 'Bharat mata ki jai', rent the air as Ninad's last rites were performed with military honours.

The bugle sounded 'Last Post' and airmen reversed their rifles to pay tributes to the pilot.

It was an emotional moment and shook everyone as the officer's daughter kissed the coffin.

Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan, who is the guardian minister of Nashik,  and collector B Radhakrishnan met the bereaved family.

Speaking to reporters,  the martyr's wife Vijeta said that the "social media warriors" must show restraint.

"Facebook warriors, social media warriors, please stop, if you want, go to the front," she said.

"We do not want a war... You don't know the damages of war... We don't want more Ninads to go," she said.

Sqn Ldr Ninad was commissioned in the helicopter stream of Indian Air Force on 24 December 2009.

He completed his schooling from Bhonsla Military School, Nashik, and was also an alumni of Services Preparatory Institute Aurangabad.

He was a graduate in mechanical engineering and had flown HPT 32, Chetak, Mi8 , Mi17, Mi171v and Mi17 V5 helicopters.

He had extensively flown in the anti-Maoist operations in Op Triveni.

He had also carried out air maintenance missions to sustain the forces deployed in the Northeast.

Before his demise, he was posted at Srinagar and was flying Mi17 V5 helicopters.

He was a national level hockey player and a keen reader.