Udhampur: The two young men from Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir who overpowered and handed over Pakistani terrorist Mohammad Naveed to the police last week, will get the Shaurya Chakra, India's third-highest peacetime gallantry award, on August 15, Independence Day.
Bravest of the brave, Rakesh Sharma and Vikramjit did not think about their own safety for a minute when they grabbed Naveed, pinned him to the ground, disarmed him of his AK-47 and in the process handed the government their greatest intelligence coup in years.
"We were getting out to leave. He came and pointed his gun at us. He told us to move. He said he was from Pakistan. We took him to the jungle and eventually caught him in the jungle. I had decided to catch him. There was no way in which we would have let him go," said Rakesh.
According to Vikramjeet, after taking Naveed to the jungle, they "fed him. We also ate. We told him to wait. After 15 minutes, he saw the force coming. They were at some distance. He was getting set to attack. We held him and got hold of his gun."
Today, Rakesh and Vikramjit stand proud. They both now have jobs with the Jammu and Kashmir police happy to have them in their ranks.
"I had always wanted to fight along with the police. I had tried earlier to get into the police. I had tried after Class X. My dream is now coming true," said Vikramjit.
The state government is equally thankful for their bravery. The two men have been given cash rewards of Rs 50,000 each and have also been allotted homes.
Now, a week after the two men held down Naveed, India is getting set to send a formal request to the Pakistan government for more information, thereby placing on record New Delhi's belief that Naveed is a Pakistani national, something which has been denied vehemently by Islamabad.