Bhubaneswar: Retired Major General Basant Kumar Mahapatra, who had participated in four major wars including the one between India and China in 1965, passed away in the city on Monday. He was 88.
According to reports, Mahapatra’s body will be taken to his residence at Chandini Chowk in Cuttack.
Mahapatra was commissioned into the Armoured Corps (Tanks) of the Army as a Combat Officer, and went on to serve the defence forces for four decades. During this period, he had held many key posts.
He had taken part in four wars — Goa Liberation (1961), India-China war (1962), and the India-Pakistan wars in 1965 and 1971.
During the 1965 conflict with Pakistan, Mahapatra had participated in the fierce Patton Tank battle in Khemkaran in Punjab. Then in 1971, his troops had captured a large territory in Mumdot Bulge and Sehjra in Pakistan.
For his gallantry, the President had conferred him with the prestigious Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM).
After retiring from the Army, Mahapatra managed several reputed educational institutions. These included Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Centre for Communication and Management (BCCM) in Bhubaneswar and four DAV Public Schools in Cuttack and Tangi.
Besides, Mahapatra was the President of India’s nominee in the Executive Council of Allahabad University (Central University) and a visiting professor in University of Lucknow, University of Allahabad and Banaras Hindu University.
He was also the vice-president of Think Tank Foundation, Odisha, chief advisor to Swabhiman (an organisation for divyangs). He was also associated with many orphanages and old age homes in Odisha.