The funeral of Colonel Vaibhav Anil Kale...

The last rites of Colonel Vaibhav Anil Kale, a former indian army officer who was killed in Gaza's Rafah area earlier this week while working with the United Nations, were performed with full state honors here on Friday.

Earlier, the mortal remains of 46-year-old Kale was brought here during the day and kept at his residence in kalyani Nagar for some time before being taken to the cremation ground in pune Cantonment. Apart from family members, his former army colleagues, National Defense Academy (NDA) classmates, friends and government officials were present at Kale's funeral. His body was wrapped in the indian tricolor and the flag of the United Nations and was cremated with full state honours. Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, had said that the United Nations has formed a fact-finding committee to investigate the attack.

Kale, originally from Nagpur, took premature retirement from the army in 2022 and settled in pune before joining the United Nations. His cousin harshad Kale said that Vaibhav Anil Kale always wanted to join the army and some other members of the family are also in the armed forces.

Harshad said, 'Since he had earlier worked in a UN peacekeeping mission, he decided to join the UN (after leaving the army), but his career was short-lived.' One of his nda classmates, who had come from delhi to attend the funeral, said that Kale had a charming smile and a positive attitude. Kale is survived by his mother, wife, son and daughter.

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