President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday turned emotional after he conferred the Ashok Chakra, India’s highest peacetime military decoration, posthumously to Air Force Garud commando Corporal Jyoti Prakash Nirala in New Delhi.
Corporal Nirala laid down his life after neutralising two terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora district in November last year.
The President was seen wiping his face and eyes with his handkerchief after presenting the award to Corporal Nirala’s wife Sushmanand and his mother Malti Devi at the Republic Day Parade.
Corporal Nirala was part of a Garud Special Forces Unit of the IAF, a detachment of which was attached to a Rashtriya Rifles battalion under the aegis of ‘Op Rakshak’.
Based on a tip-off by specific intelligence, the Garud detachment carried out an offensive in Chanderger Village of Bandipora in November. However, Corporal Nirala was hit by a volley of small arms fire in the violent exchange of fire.
Despite being critically injured, he fought valiantly and continued the retaliatory fire. He later succumbed to the fatal gunshot wounds.
India celebrated its 69th Republic Day with a grand parade watched by thousands of people along with ten ASEAN leaders who attended the event as chief guests, in a historic first.
With PTI inputs