Service No : JC-459656A
Date of Birth : Aug 1, 1969
Birth Place : Chandgad ,Karnataka
Last Rank: Naib Subedar
Unit: 9 MLI
Arm/Regt: The Maratha Light Infantry
Operation : Op Rakshak
Date of Martyrdom : Jan 10, 2008
Naib Subedar Babu Astekar was born on 01 Aug 1969 and hailed from Chandgad in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. Son of Shri Lakshman and Smt Bhagyarathi, Nb Sub Babu Astekar was fourth among 5 siblings. He did his earlier education in his hometown and after completing his PUC II year joined the Indian Army in the year 1976 at the age of 17 years. He was recruited into 9 MLI battalion of the famed Maratha Light Infantry Regiment, an Infantry regiment known for its courageous soldiers and various battle and theater honours.
After serving for sometime, he got married to Ms Bebi in the year 1995 and the couple had daughter Sushmitha, and son Pratik. By the year 2008, he had been promoted to the rank of Naib Subedar and had developed into a battle-hardened soldier and a very dependable junior commissioned officer. He had served in various operational areas by then and gathered substantial field experience.
J&K Avalanche : 10 Jan 2008
During 2008, Nb Sub Babu Astekar was serving with 9 MLI Bn deployed in J&K. The AOR (Area Of Responsibility) of the Battalion ran along the LOC which was also prone to infiltration from across the border. Besides undertaking planned counter-insurgency and counter-infiltration operations, the unit launched regular armed patrols to monitor its area. Nb Sub Babu Astekar was part of one such patrol on 10th Jan 2008. The designated route of the patrol passed through the rugged area and was also prone to avalanches. As the patrol was traversing through the assigned route, it was struck by a horrific avalanche.
The avalanche took the soldiers by surprise and did not give them enough time to react. Nb Sub Babu Astekar got swept away and buried under tons of snow. A rescue operation was launched by the army on a war footing. Though the rescue operation got hampered by the implement weather, the team continued its efforts. However, Nb Sub Babu Astekar could not be saved and was martyred. Nb Sub Babu Astekar was a dedicated and valiant Junior Commissioned Officer who laid down his life in the line of his duty.
Naib Subedar Babu Astekar is survived by his wife Smt Bebi Babu Ashtekar, daughter Sushmitha, and son Pratik. Smt Bebi had a paralytic attack after her husband’s death and is unable to talk & walk properly even today. Currently, the family is residing in Belgavi district of Karnataka.
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