City’s son Col Kale, the braveheart of Pathankot operation, killed in Gaza
   Date :15-May-2024

Col Kale killed in Gaza 
Staff Reporter
The battle field, either in peace or in war-time, was always a preferred work station for him. He never liked to do a desk job even after hanging his boots from Indian Army. Even at the time of the supreme sacrifice, he bravely faced death on the battle field. Col Waibhav Anil Kale (Retd), the brave-heart, who was working as Security Co-ordination 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 Rafah region of Gaza. 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. 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,” Col Kale’s first cousin Chinmay Kale told ‘The Hitavada’. “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 desk job. So he left the lucrative salary and corporate world and joined UN to pursue his career one month ago and also because he was keen in humanitarian mission work,” said Chinmay Kale. Col Kale did his schooling from Pranjape 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 National Defence Academy (NDA).
He and his family left Nagpur and settled in Pune by then. 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. “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,” Chinmay Kale said.
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. Col Kale is survived by wife Amruta and two teenage children, son Vedant and daughter Radhika. 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.
Deeply saddened to learn of the death of a UNDSS staff member: Guterres
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was “deeply saddened to learn of the death of a United Nations Department of Safety and Security (DSS) staff member and injury to another DSS staffer”. A statement by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, said that Guterres condemned all attacks on UN personnel and called for a full investigation. Guterres sent his condolences to the family of the fallen staff member. “With the conflict in Gaza continuing to take a heavy toll – not only on civilians but also on humanitarian workers – the Secretary-General reiterates his urgent appeal for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and for the release of all hostages,” the statement added. In a post on X, Guterres said the UN vehicle was struck in Gaza, “killing one of our colleagues and injuring another” and said, more than 190 UN staff have been killed in Gaza since October 7, 2023.