Malankara Jacobite Syrian Christian Network

 

Nation pays homage to Colonel Jojan Thomas

(Son of Syriac Orthodox Church)

Colonel Jojan Thomas

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa assured state government's help to the family of Colonel Jojan Thomas who died while fighting with terrorists in Kashmir on Friday, Aug 22. Speaking to the brave soldier's wife Beena after visiting their house in the city to pay his respects, he said besides other help the government would take care of the educational expenses of Col Thomas' children.

 

The mortal remains of the Colonel was laid to rest with full state honours in the city on Monday, Aug 25. Earlier, hundreds of people visit the colonel's home at Manekshaw Vihar in the city after his body was flown in on Saturday, Aug 23. The 43-year-old Colonel was killed in a fierce battle between a militants and the quick reaction team of 45 Rashtriya Rifles of which he was in the lead. His team killed six militants but the officer was also fatally injured in the encounter.

 

The body was taken for funeral service at St Geroge Kanaya Syrian Church at Domlur in the city. H.E Kuriakose Mor Severios, the Archbishop of Malankara Syrian Knanaya Jacobite Archdiocese led the funeral servcie. Speaking to newspersons after paying his tribute, Mr Yeddyurappa said has said that the Colonel had set an example for bravery and the whole nation was indebted to him.

During the early hours on 22 Aug 08, Col Thomas had received information about suspicious movement from one of the ambush parties of the unit in Machhal Sector. He immediately moved to the area and took stock of the situation. Detailed search continued thereafter. At around 0700h Col Thomas and his Quick Reaction Team came in contact with a group of terrorists and in the ensuing gunfight, neutralized two terrorists, though the officer also sustained gun shot wounds.

With the valiant death of Col Jojan Thomas, India lost another of its brave sons in the frontline of war against terror- Terror organized by the enemies of the Nation, with the help of betrayers within our borders. However, for Indian security forces, each death reiterates their commitment and strengthens their resolve to fight hostile forces that have always tried to put India’s existence as a Nation into jeopardy.

 

Col Jojan Thomas was commissioned on 08 Mar 86 from OTA, Chennai in 11 JAT Regt. Besides holding prestigious staff appointments as GSO-1 (Ops) 3 Corps and Instructor FTM, ASC Centre & College Bangalore was also an experienced Pilot (flying). Despite the injury Col Thomas continued the search in the dense forested area and again confronted the terrorists. This resulted in the death of two more terrorists. However, Col Thomas too suffered fatal injuries in the fresh fire fight and succumbed to his injuries. So far the unit has received confirmation of six terrorists having been killed. 

 

A native of Thiruvalla  Kerala based Colonel Thomas belonged to a family that served defence services with distinction.  His father Capt (rtd) P A Thomas had died last September and the family was staying in the city for the last three years. The colonel is survived by his wife Beena Jojan Thomas, daughter Meghana Thomas (18) and son Philemon Thomas (11).

The garlanded portrait of Col Jojan Thomas welcomes friends, relatives and visitors at his flat in Manekshaw Vihar on St John's Church Road. He was one of the four armymen killed in an encounter with militants in Kupwara, Jammu & Kashmir, on Friday morning.

 

Coming to terms with the death of a dear one is not easy. "He left the city on August 9 after a month-long vacation. We even had a voice chat with him the night before his death. Today, he is no more and it is difficult for us to accept this, especially for my mother ," said Meghana, Col Thomas' daughter.

He was leading a 45 Rashtriya Rifles ' reaction team in the forests of Macchal near the Line of Control. The team shot down six militants.

 

The body was brought to Bangalore Command Hospital on Saturday night. It will be taken to St George Knanaya Church on Monday and cremated with state honours at 2.30 pm, at the cemetery on Hosur Road.

 

Meghana said: "We know it is a risky job. Since I am the eldest child, the family is now my responsibility." She is undergoing commercial pilot training at the Philippines. "I was here on a vacation. Now, I will have to extend my leave. We moved to Bangalore three years ago after staying at several places in the country. My father wanted us to settle here and concentrate on our careers. Our life will continue as he planned it," she added.

 

Major Sandhu, a friend, last spoke to Col Thomas on Wednesday. "It's a big loss for the Army. He had experience working in various terrains for over 20 years. He also served as a pilot for six years. Youngsters looked up to him as he was a wonderful mentor and an inspiring personality. Above all, Col Thomas was a great human being," major Sandhu recounted.

 

 

 
     
 

 
     
 

 
 

 

 

 

 

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