You dont have javascript enabled! Please enable it!


The last rites of Colonel (retd) Waibhav Anil Kale, a former Indian army officer who was killed in Rafah region of Gaza earlier this week while working with the United Nations (UN), were performed here on Friday with full state honours.

The body of the 46-year-old former infantry officer were flown here earlier in the day, and kept at his residence in Kalyaninagar for some time before they were taken to the crematorium in Pune Cantonment. Besides family members, his colleagues in the army, course-mates from the National Defence Academy (NDA), friends and government officials were present at the crematorium.

Wrapped in the Indian tri-colour and the UN flag, he was cremated with full state honours.

Colonel Kale, who had joined the UN as a security service coordinator two months ago, was killed on Monday while travelling in a vehicle carrying the UN flag when it came under fire.

Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, had said that the UN had established a fact-finding panel to look into the deadly attack.

Originally from Nagpur, Colonel Kale had retired from the army prematurely in 2022, and settled down in Pune before joining the UN.

Harshad Kale, a cousin, recalled that he always wanted to join the army as some other members of the family were serving in the armed forces.

“As he had worked in the UN peacekeeping mission earlier, he decided to join the UN (after leaving the army), but that career turned out to be short,” Harshad said.

One of Mr Kale’s coursemates from the NDA who came from Delhi to attend the last rites reminisced that Mr Kale had an infectious smile and positive attitude.

Pune divisional commissioner Chandrakant Pulkundwar, Brigadier (retd) Rajesh Gaikwad, director of the Department of Maharashtra Sainik Welfare; and serving and retired military veterans paid homage to Mr Kale.

He is survived by his mother, wife, son and daughter.