It was sheer grit and determination of 36-year-old Havildar Hangpan Dada that saw him fight valiantly at the 13,000-feet high Shamsabari range to eliminate four heavily-armed terrorists who infiltrated into North Kashmir from PoK before he laid down his life.
Having been posted at the high range since late last year, it was the team of Havildar, who is known as just Dada, which spotted the movement of terrorists in the area yesterday and lost no time in engaging them in an encounter that went on today too.
Enrolled in the Assam Regiment of the Army in 1997, Dada was posted with the 35 Rashtriya Rifles, a force carved out for counter-insurgency operations, at present. A senior Army official said today that he was injured badly in the encounter as the terrorists who crossed over from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir(PoK) were having a slight height advantage.
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He displayed raw courage, unflinching grit, presence of mind and with utter disregard to his personal safety and despite bleeding profusely, discharged his duties and made supreme sacrifice for the nation, the official said.
He charged at the spot where terrorists were holed up to ensure that two terrorists were killed on the spot and the third one after a scuffle today as they slid down the hill towards the Line of Control. One terrorist was shot dead by him yesterday itself.
The official said that the presence of mind of Dada, a native of village Boduria in far flung Arunachal Pradesh, saved lives of his team members who were coming under heavy fire from the terrorists. His body was being taken to his native village where the last rites will be conducted with military honours.
The Havildar is survived by his wife Chasen Lowang, daughter Roukhin who will turn 10 on June 30 and six-year-old son Senwang.