Published On : Wed, May 15th, 2024

Nagpur’s son Col Kale killed in Gaza while serving United Nations agency

Colonel Kale had played a crucial role in thwarting the 2016 terror attack on the Pathankot Air Base. Col Kale’s death has become the ‘first international casualty’ in the world since the Israel-Hamas conflict commenced last year
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Nagpur: Col Waibhav Anil Kale (Retd), hailing from Nagpur, who was working as Security Coordination Officer of United Nation Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS),was killed in Gaza when the vehicle he was travelling in came under attack in strife-torn Rafah recently. He was killed while going to a hospital in the Rafah region of Gaza.

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Col Kale is survived by wife Amruta and two teenage children, son Vedant and daughter Radhika.

Colonel Kale had played a crucial role in fending off the 2016 terror attack on the Pathankot Air Base. Col Kale’s death has become the ‘first international casualty’ in the world since the Israel-Hamas conflict commenced last year. He was the man who led the first cordon-off and sanitisation operation group of 11 JAK Rifles after the infamous Pathankot terror attack on January 2, in 2016.

According to media reports, Col Kale did his schooling from Paranjape High School in Nagpur and did his Class X from Bhavan’s BP Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines in early 90s. He was in Bhavan’s BP Vidya Mandir from Class VIII to X. Col Kale was a Swayamsevak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) from Laxmi Nagar Shakha during his school time and he was the resident of Laxmi Nagar as well. After his schooling, Col Kale joined the National Defence Academy (NDA). He and his family left Nagpur and settled in Pune by then.

Col Kale was the Commanding Officer (CO) of 11 JAK Rifles and his team was the first responder after that attack. He was a true infantry man. He was always ready to serve his country. He served a long infantry tenure in Kargil and also added a feather in his cap when he served on Siachen Glacier, the highest battlefield in the world.

Waibhav took voluntary retirement from the Indian Army in 2022 and he worked with Amazon and one more corporate company for a while. But he was not made for a desk job. So he left the lucrative salary and corporate world and joined the UN to pursue his career one month ago and also because he was keen on humanitarian mission work.

While in the Indian Army, Col Kale had participated in a UN peacekeeping mission in Congo in 2009-10 on deputation. In fact, that posting was a motivation for undertaking the latest UN mission which proved fatal for the braveheart. Col Kale was an instructor at the Army’s Infantry School in Mhow.

The reports said Waibhav, who joined the army in 1998 and served more than two decades, also served in the north-east and became an instructor at the Indian Army’s Infantry School in Mhow. As a CO of Rashtriya Rifles in Kashmir, he was a part of counter intelligence and counter-terrorism operations in the valley.

He did his BA from the Jawaharlal Nehru University ( JNU) in New Delhi and had degrees in Behavioural Science and International Humanitarian Law and had studied at, among other institutions, the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Lucknow and Indore.

The last rites of the 46-year-old former Indian Army officer will be held in Pune in two days after his body is flown via Cairo. While Waibhav succumbed to his bullet injuries, another officer who was with him in the vehicle is critical and undergoing treatment. The United Nations has called for a full investigation while Israel has ordered a separate investigation into the attack.