Militant-turned-Soldier from Kashmir to get Ashok Chakra this R-Day

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New Delhi: Kashmiri militant-turned-soldier Lance Naik Nazir Wani, who was killed in an encounter with militants in the Kashmir Valley on 26 November, will posthumously be awarded this year’s Ashok Chakra, India’s highest peacetime gallantry award.

The soldier was once a terrorist, but gave up those activities and joined the Territorial Army. He was in the 34 Rashtriya Rifles during the operation in which he was martyred, and was in the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry regiment.

He laid down his life during an encounter in South Kashmir’s Shopian district, in which six militants were killed. Wrapped in tricolour, the body of the decorated soldier was taken to his native village Ashmuji in Kulgam and handed over to family members. The village is surrounded by areas like Koinmooh, which are notorious for terrorist activities.

The highly-decorated soldier has already received the Sena Medal twice for his gallantry against terrorists. A resident of Cheki Ashmuji village in Kulgam, he is survived by his wife and two children.

Ashok Chakra is the highest peacetime gallantry award in the country, followed by the Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra, respectively. Four officers and soldiers have received the Kirti Chakra while 12 others have also been awarded the Shaurya Chakra this year.

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