Lance Naik Nazir Ahmed Wani, who attained martyrdom after being seriously injured in an encounter in South Kashmir’s Shopian district on Sunday in which six terrorists were also killed, had once taken up the gun to wage ‘jihad’ for Kashmir.
Wani was into terrorism during the nineties, however, he later realised the futility of ”mindless violence” and surrendered to become an Army man.
The Lance Naik began his career with Territorial Army’s 162 Battalion in 2004.
He was since involved in counter-insurgency operations being carried out by the Army in parts of Kashmir.
He was seen as a counter-insurgent in the Army circles.
“His colleagues will always remember him for his indomitable courage and bravery which led to many successful operations,” an Army officer said hailing Wani.
Wani was a highly decorated Armyman and was awarded the Sena Medal for gallantry in August 2007 and a bar to the Sena Medal in August this year.
He hailed from the Cheki Ashmuji village in the Kulgam tehsil in the terror-infested south Kashmir district of Kulgam.
Wrapped in the Tricolour, his mortal remains were brought to his native village for his last rites after he succumbed to injuries.
After the rituals, his body was taken for burial to a nearby graveyard where nearly 500 to 600 villagers were present.
A 21-gun salute was given when Wani’s body was lowered into the grave.
He was given a tearful adieu by his family members, close friends, relatives and hundreds of villagers besides several top officers from the Army.
“The family was fighting tears and they were honoured by the supreme sacrifice of Lance Naik Wani for the nation and peace for his state,” a senior Army officer was quoted as saying.
“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.
”Wani was an ‘epitome of bravery’ as he continued his relentless pursuit against terrorism specifically in South Kashmir,” the officer said.
His battalion was attached with a unit of Rashtriya Rifles, a force carved out of the Army for fighting terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.
Wani, 38, is survived by a wife and two children aged 20 and 18 years.