India’s highest peacetime gallantry medal, the Ashoka Chakra, will be awarded posthumously to Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani, who laid down his life during an anti-terror operation at Batagund village in J&K’s Shopian in November last year.
“Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani exhibited the most conspicuous gallantry in personality eliminating two terrorists and assisting in the evacuation of his wounded colleagues and made supreme sacrifice in the highest traditions of the Indian Army,” a press release from the President’s Secretariat said.
The two-time winner of the Sena Medal was once an Ikhwan (a terrorist who surrenders and becomes involved in counter-insurgency operations) and surrendered before the Army and went onto become a highly decorated soldier.
A serving #IndianArmy officer consoling father of Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad of 34 Rashtriya Rifles, who lost his life fighting terrorists in #Shopian in Kulgam district of J&K. #IndianArmy #SalutingtheBraveheart #Braveheart @PIB_India @SpokespersonMoD pic.twitter.com/k2Yklmf1Ev
— ADG PI – INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) November 28, 2018
Wani was operating with the 34 Rashtriya Rifles on November 23 when intelligence was received regarding the presence of six heavily armed Hizbul and Lashkar terrorists at Batagund village.
A resident of Kulgam, Wani and his team was tasked to block the likely escape route of the terrorists.
“Sensing danger, the terrorists attempted breaching the inner cordon, firing indiscriminately and lobbing grenades. Undeterred by the situation, Wani held ground and eliminated one terrorist in a fierce exchange at close range,” the statement said.
The 38-year-old next closed in on a house where another terrorist was hiding. As the terrorist tried to flee, Wani encountered him in a hand to hand combat situation. Despite being wounded, he eliminated the terrorist. However, he succumbed to his injuries later in a hospital.
Wani was given a 21-gun salute and hundreds of villagers were present as the body was taken for burial.