Suryakant Jena

The incident of clash between Maoists and security forces on Boudh-Kandhamal border on Saturday was indeed sensational for the entire Odisha not just because of the miraculous escape of the two Commandos from the Special Operations Group who received critical injuries during the gunfight but also for their dramatic rescue from the far-off region all thanks to the efforts of Odisha DGP.

But in the clamour of it, many might not know that the true hero of the act whose efforts helped save two promising sentinels of the State. Meet, BSF Capt Bhav Pandit whose heroics has been commended by all including the chief of the State Police himself.

On Saturday, a fierce encounter broke out between the security forces and the ultras during a combing operation near Gochapada of Kandhamal leaving two SOG jawans severely wounded. Despite being pulled to safety by other CRPF jawans providing immediate advanced medical assistance to save their endangered lives proved a herculean task.

One helicopter which was requisitioned to land at nearby Padelpada to airlift the injured jawans could not proceed due to inclement weather en route.

But call it unprecedented or simply providential coincidence, Odisha’s top cop Abhay who was on a visit to the undivided Koraput district to review anti-LWE situation, cancelled his scheduled tour and immediately asked his chopper pilot, none other than Capt Bhav Pandit, to change the travel route in view of the incident.

With his skills, a brave Pandit not only defied bad weather but also earned praises from everyone for impossibly landing the chopper in a small area before airlifting the wounded jawans for critical care to Bhubaneswar.

After the rescue operation, DGP Abhay admired the efforts of all but mostly commended pilot Pandit. Not only the top cop, but people all over have showered tributes on the jawan.

Bhav Pandit has been flying as Captain in BSF Air wing on Anti Naxal Air Operations for the last 7-8 years. BSF Air Wing ALH fleet which continues to play a pivotal role against Maoist activities is the first fleet with BSF Cadre Captain.

After joining BSF as Assistant Commandant in 2003, he took flying training on Chetak helicopter and also in Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). He has conducted various operations against the left-wing extremism in Odisha, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Bihar.