Bodies of soldiers killed in South Sudan reach India

Five Indian UN peacekeepers, including a lieutenant colonel, were killed while four were injured when they came under attack in Jonglei in South Sudan.

Updated: Apr 11, 2013, 16:33 PM IST

New Delhi: The bodies of five Indian UN peacekeepers killed in South Sudan reached India early Thursday.

"The bodies of the five martyrs have been brought back. The bodies will be sent to the respective villages," Maj Gen SL Narasimhan, the additional director general (Public Information) at army headquarters, told the media here.

The five peacekeepers - Lt Col Mahipal Singh, Naib Subedar Shiv Kumar Pal, Lance Naik Nand Kishore Joshi, Havaldar Bharat Sasmal and Havaldar Hira Lal were killed - and four others were injured when their convoy was ambushed by a rebel group in Jonglei in South Sudan early Tuesday.

The five soldiers belonged to the Mechanized Infantry and Mahar regiments.

Lt Col Mahipal Singh hailed from Haryana, Naib Subedar Shiv Kumar Pal and Havaldar Hira Lal from Uttar Pradesh, Lance Naik Nand Kishore Joshi from Uttarakhand and Havaldar Bharat Samsal from West Bengal.

Army officers said that the bodies arrived by a UN aircraft at 5 am.

The Uttar Pradesh government Thursday announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 20 lakh each to the families of Havaldar Hira Lal and Naib Subedar Shiv Kumar Pal.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav expressed his condolences to their families.

The mortal remains of Shiv Kumar Pal, who hailed from Pratapgarh, arrived by a special flight in Lucknow and was received by army and civil administration officials.

Pal is survived by his aged parents, wife Madhu, who works for the National Commission for Women (NCW), and two children.

Havaldar Hira Lal belonged to Bulandshahr.

The Indian Army has contributed to UN peacekeeping operations around the world for over six decades and has currently over 7,000 troops on four missions.