President of India Ram Nath Kovind Saturday awarded Ashoka Chakra to Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani, a renegade-turned-army man who was killed by militants in Shopian in Kashmir in November, PTI reported.
The award — India’s highest peacetime gallantry honour — was received by Wani’s wife and mother at the Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath. Wani is the first Kashmiri to be conferred the Ashoka Chakra.
On November 25, 38-year-old Wani, hailing from Cheki Ashmuji in Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, was killed by a group of militants at Hirapur village near Batgund in Shopian.
In the ensuing gunfight, he was hit multiple times including on his head.
According to the citation, Wani single-handedly killed two militants during the Shopian operation and injured a third one despite receiving serious injuries.
“In an unparalleled saga of sacrifice, Lance Naik Wani prevented escape of the militants from the target house and made a huge contribution in neutralisation of six hardcore militants, in the process laying down his life upholding the highest tradition of the Indian Army,” it said.
One of his colleagues, who wished not to be named, said he always volunteered for challenging missions, displaying great courage under adverse conditions and exposing himself to grave danger on numerous occasions in the line of duty.
Lance Naik Wani joined the Army’s 162 Infantry Battalion (Territorial Army) Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry in 2004.
Wani was a recipient of the Sena Medal for gallantry twice in 2007 and 2018.
Ashoka Chakra is the highest peacetime military decoration for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield.