Bengaluru: Fighter jets make this war veteran nostalgic
Deccan Chronicle| Aksheev Thakur
One of the most dangerous tasks during the operation was to land in a small pit.
Wing Commander K.J. Bhatt (Retd.)
Bengaluru: Wing Commander (Retd) K.J. Bhatt is a war veteran and in the scorching heat, he still looks at the fighter jets at Aero India with nostalgia in his eyes.
Ask him about the great moments in his 25-year-old career and he will say that it was flying MI-17 helicopters in the war-torn zone of Sri Lanka during combat operations. "The LTTE was dangerous and I was leading a helicopter formation that was carrying commandos," he recalls.
One of the most dangerous tasks during the operation was to land in a small pit. "The LTTE could have fired with RPGs and we could have lost lives. There was a jungle all around but keeping the traditions of the IAF alive, we did it."
"Mizoram had witnessed insurgency and when Rajiv Gandhi became prime minister, we had the Mizoram Accord in 1986 with Laldenga made the chief minister. The LTTE was offered the same conditions but its chief Prabhakaran rejected it. He adopted the Chola empire emblem, the tiger, and wanted to take forward the empire of erstwhile emperor Rajendra Chola. He had to be exterminated," he adds.
Wing Commander Bhatt, an alumnus of the National Defence Staff College, Wellington, was a chief ground instructor in Yelahanka. His message to citizens is to visit the National Military Memorial and understand the spirit of the forces. "We fight for ordinary and decent citizens. The citizens should understand the forces," he sums up.