Sullia: Subedar Ugrani Mane (U M) Raghupati (43), hailing from Mandekolu which is also the home village of Union railway minister D V Sadananda Gowda, has done the district proud by being part of the Indian army’s lightning attack against the extremists taking shelter in Myanmar earlier this week.
Had he been on holidays at home, he would have celebrated the completion of 13th year of his wedded life with Bharati from Kodtilu in Aivernad. But the call of duty made him celebrate it with a decisive victory against the extremists at their hideout in former Burma.
Son of Ugrani Mane Jattappa Gowda and the late Seetamma, Raghupati had discontinued Law studies and joined the Army, since he has harboured great patriotic feelings at heart. After initial training in Belagavi, he served in the Maratha Regiment and Para Regiment Training Centre in Bengaluru, which led to his promotion as Subedar.
Although he had signed a bond with Army to serve for 15 years, Raghupati has continued and has completed 25 years in service. Before leaving on the Myanmar mission on June 6, he had called up his wife Bharati and informed that he would not be available for four days.
While returning from the successful operation, while at the international border between India and Myanmar, on Wednesday, June 10, he phoned his wife again to convey the big news. This not only brought pride to the family but also relieved them of concern that had prevailed over the crucial four days.
He narrated the story of having shot down 50 ultras, after crossing on foot a forest ridden with leeches over a distance of 9 kilometres.
His elder brother Ravindra is employed with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and is serving in Kota, Rajasthan. The other two are sisters.
Family sources said that there were about 30 soldiers from Mandekolu serving in the Indian Army. Interestingly, eight of them hail from the same family, Ugrani Mane.