Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani, the terrorist-turned-soldier from Kashmir, who was martyred while fighting off a terror attack in Shopian district last year, on Saturday was posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra, the country's highest peacetime gallantry honour. The award was received by Wani's wife and mother at the Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath, New Delhi. Early in the day, Wani's family also met President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Naredra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the "At Home" function at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The 38-year-old soldier lost his life in a counter-terror operation against six terrorists in Hirapur village near Batgund of Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district on November 25. In a daring display of raw courage, Wani eliminated the 'district commander' of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and one foreign terrorist despite intense hail of bullets from the terrorists. The brave son of India succumed to his grievous wounds after being hit multiple times including on his head.
"In an unparalleled saga of sacrifice, Lance Naik Wani prevented escape of the terrorists from the target house and made a huge contribution in neutralisation of six hardcore terrorists, in the process laying down his life upholding the highest tradition of the Indian Army," according to a statement released by the Indian Army.
Praising the mrtyred soldier, Union Minister Smriti Irani said, "A man who raised arms against India, surrendered, for he believed in India, and then went on to fight for that very idea of India. It is very easy for people like us to talk about belief, it is absolutely different when you are laying your life for that belief".
Union min Smriti Irani: A man who raised arms against India, surrendered, for he believed in India, & then went on to fight for that very idea of India. It's very easy for people like us to talk about belief, it's absolutely different when you're laying your life for that belief https://t.co/bBHBTzcWaC— ANI (@ANI) January 26, 2019
As nation remembers the bravery, valour and patriotism of Nazir Ahmad Wani, let's have a quick look at some of the interesting facts about the valiant and committed soldier of India.
1. Prior to joining army, Wani was a part of Ikhwan-ul-Muslimeen, a pro-government terrorist group.
2. In 2004, he was recruited into 162 Infantry Battalion (Territorial Army), which is affiliated to the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry Regiment of Indian Army.
3. Apart from Ashok Chakra, Wani was conferred with the Sena Medal for gallantry twice in 2007 and 2018. He undertook as many as 17 crucial counter-insurgency operations during his tenure.
4. Nazir was married to one Mahajabeen and has two sons - Athar and Shaid.
5. Hailing from Cheki Ashmuji village of Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district, Wani belonged to humble a background and was involved in working for the betterment of the underprivileged section in his village and surrounding areas.