A 38-year-old pro-government militant-turned-soldier Nazir Ahmed Wani has become the first Kashmiri army man to have been conferred country’s highest peacetime gallantry award Ashoka Chakra posthumously.
Lance Naik Wani, a resident of Kulgam who was operating with Army’s 34 Rashtriya Rifles was killed in a fierce gunfight in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on November 25 that also left six militants, including some top commanders, dead.
“He was a brave boy. We are very proud that one of our Kashmiri brethren has got this award,” General Officer Commanding of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, Lt Gen A K Bhatt told The Tribune.
Wani was a member of the Ikhwan (government-backed gunmen) before joining Territorial Army in 2004.
“He shunned violence having realised its futility and assisted the forces in it’s endeavour against terrorism. His indomitable courage and bravery led to many successful operations,” a defence official in Srinagar said.