Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani and his colleagues from the army's Rashtriya Rifles unit were alerted about the presence of terrorists in south Kashmir's Shopian late Saturday night.
The terrorists, heavily armed, were hiding in a house when the soldiers reached the village. Six Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists were killed in a six-hour encounter. Lance Naik Ahmad, however, was killed after he was hit by a volley of bullets when he stormed the target house.
The photo of his grieving father being consoled by an army officer is being widely shared and has moved many on the internet. "You are not alone, an Indian Army officer to father of a braveheart," the army tweeted. The picture got over 900 re-tweets and over 3,000 'likes'.
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@SpokespersonMoDpic.twitter.com/k2Yklmf1Ev— ADG PI - INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) November 28, 2018
The 38-year-old is also survived by a wife and two children.
Villagers bid a tearful farewell to Lance Naik Wani on Monday in his native village in Kulgam where a 21-gun salute was given. Hundreds of villagers were present as the body was taken for burial. Nazir Ahmad Wani gave up militancy and became a counter-insurgent, a senior Army officer accompanying the coffin was quoted as saying by news agency PTI said.
The villagers had started gathering at his home early Monday morning to mourn the death of the solider who began his career with the 162 battalion of Territorial Army in 2004. "He was a real braveheart and his enthusiastic participation in an anti-militancy operation had fetched him a Sena Medal in 2007 and again a bar to the Sena Medal this year on the eve of Independence Day," the officer said.
(With inputs from PTI)