Captain Thomas Philipose, the Maha Vir Chakra awardee from Kerala, passed away on Friday in Pathanamthitta.
77-year-old Captain Thomas Philipose was one of the few who were bestowed the second highest gallantry award, when he was alive. He received the honour in 1972, for bravery shown in the Cactus Lily Operation during the course of the 1971 Indo-Pak war. He received the award from the then President VV Giri.
Captain Thomas Philipose, who served in the army for nearly 32 years, died after a prolonged battle with cancer.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled his death in a statement released to the media.
"He was a hawaldar attached to the Madras Regiment and fought fearlessly in the 1971 Indo-Pak war. His contribution reflected patriotism and bravery," the CM said.
Earlier in 2017, a disgruntled Captain Thomas Philipose built a war memorial in honour of 20 soldiers who lost their lives while serving the nation. This, he built in a three-cent plot at Aranmula in Pathanamthitta.
Speaking to TNM about the war memorial in 2017, Captain Thomas had said that he was deeply disturbed by the untimely demise of ten soldiers in an avalanche at Siachen Glacier the year before.
Neither the Kerala Chief Minister nor other state cabinet ministers were present to receive the body of Lance Naik Sudheesh -a native of Kollam- one of the martyred soldiers, Captain had said, adding that he had decided to built the war memorial after seeing the apathy of the state.
â€śThe bodies of all other martyrs including that of Lance Naik Hamunanthappa were received by the respective state Chief Ministers, cabinet ministers and MPs. They were laid to rest with due honour. But not Sudheeshâ€¦.only his friends and family were with him during his last journey. We gave our sweat and blood for the countryâ€¦and this is what we get from the state government,â€ť he had said.