A Kashmiri terrorist-turned-soldier who recently died fighting Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives has been chosen for the Ashok Chakra, the country's highest peace-time gallantry award, by the Union government. President Ram Nath Kovind will present it to his wife, Mahajabeen, during the Republic Day Parade on January 26.
Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani was part of an operation against six terrorists in Hirapur villager, near Kashmir's Batagund, on November 25 when his team came under attack. He stormed the house where the terrorists were hiding, killing an LeT district commander and a foreign terrorist before being hit by bullets. The soldier also managed to injure a third terrorist before he was taken to a military hospital, where he died.
The soldier's body was draped in the Tricolour and brought back to his village, where it was handed over to his family. He was buried amid a 21-gun salute at his village on November 26. Many military personnel and local residents were present at his funeral.
"Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani exhibited the most conspicuous gallantry in eliminating two terrorists before making the supreme sacrifice in the highest traditions of the Indian Army," a press release from the President's Secretariat read.
Lance Naik Wani (38), hailing from Cheki Ashmuji in Kulgam district, was part of a terrorist group in the early nineties before joining the counter-insurgency group Ikhwan. He joined the army's 162 Infantry Battalion (Territorial Army/ Home and Hearth), Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry, in 2004.
He had received the Sena Medal for gallantry on two occasions -- 2007 and 2018 -- during the course of his military career. His unit usually participated in anti-terrorist efforts in collaboration with the Rashtriya Rifles in Kashmir.
Lance Naik Wani had two sons, Athar (20) and Shaid (18), with his wife.