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Udhampur bravehearts honored with gallantry award

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Two bravehearts from Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir, who captured a Pakistani terrorist who held them hostage after attacking a Border Security Force (BSF) bus, said they were proud to contribute to the nation.

Rakesh and Vikramjit were on Thursday felicitated with the ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Bravery Award’ by All India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) chairman M.S. Bitta and Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty

They also said they were not afraid even when their lives were under threat after the incident.

“We offered him food, but instead he wanted to kill us. But we overpowered him,” said Rakesh Sharma, 24, and Vikramjit, 33, who helped capture alive Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Mohammed Naveed alias Usman.

The duo, related to each other, said that though they faced threats to their lives, they were not bothered as service to the nation was supreme.

“We did not care for our lives; we will continue to serve our country,” Rakesh said, recounting the incident which pushed them into national limelight.

“It was a great thing for us that we could do something small for the security of our motherland,” said Vikramjit.

Without bothering about their safety, they grabbed Naveed’s AK-47 rifle and pinned him to the ground.

Naveed and another terrorist had attacked a BSF bus on August 5 at Narsu Nallah in Udhampur district, killing two troopers and injuring 11 others.

While Naveed’s accomplice was killed in the gunfight with BSF troopers, he managed to escape to Samroli, 15 km from the attack site on the Jammu-Srinagar highway. He later took three people hostage in a house in Chirdi village.

The duo, who flew down to Mumbai specially to receive the award, were given Rs.1 lakh each by AIATF.

Jammu and Kashmir Police have already recommended their names to the Centre for Shaurya Chakra gallantry award.

AIATF chief Bitta said he planned to visit their native village and meet the villagers, besides asking the Jammu and Kashmir government to make efforts for their uplift.

“If a movie is made on this incident, I would like to portray the roles of either Rakesh Sharma and Vikramjit,” Suniel Shetty said, adding that the duo’s heroic act was much bigger than what he had played in the movie ‘Border’.

 

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“Increased Army Will Achieve Nothing” Says J&K CM

In J&K increased security is of no use

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"Increased Army Will Achieve Nothing" Says J&K CM, Flickr

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said the trend of more youths joining army will achieve nothing except increased footprints of the security forces in the state.

Addressing a convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) here, Mehbooba reacted to reports of more young people joining militant ranks.

“The increase in the number of youths picking up the gun will increase the presence of Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the police.

military men
Military men, Pixabay

“More the situation improves, the more we can ask the Army, the CRPF and the police to reduce their footprints (in Kashmir)”, the Chief Minister said.

Condemning the recent grenade attacks by militants in the Valley, she said: “Despite ceasefire, there are grenade attacks. They do not see that civilians are getting killed, they do not see that Army or CRPF jawans have come from far flung areas for their bread and butter. What will this achieve?

“There have been thousands of grenade attacks till now, thousands have picked up guns and become militants, but what has been achieved?” she asked.

She said through peaceful means the People’s Democratic Party had been able to persuade the opening of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalkote roads.

Indian para commandos
Indian para commandos, Representational image, (Wikimedia Commons)

“If the situation improves, I promise you that we will open more such routes.”

Mehbooba made a fervent appeal to Kashmiri separatists to come forward for talks and save the state from further bloodshed and reminded them that the announcement of ceasefire by the Indian government was a step that cannot be expected always.

She said the problem can only be resolved thorough dialogue.

“This time there is an offer of dialogue from the Centre. I request all stakeholders to come forward to save Kashmir.”

Mehbooba said it was for the separatists to decide whether the youths of Kashmir should come out of the culture of stones and guns.

Also read: Pakistan army violates ceasefire at LOC in Rajouri

She also appealed to New Delhi and Islamabad to start the dialogue process in order to improve the situation since Jammu and Kashmir bears the brunt of strained relations between the two countries. (IANS)