IAF Garud commando Jyoti Prakash Nirala, who laid down his life while single-handedly shooting dead two to three terrorists during an encounter in Hajin area of Jammu and Kashmir last November, was posthumously awarded Ashoka Chakra, the country’s highest peacetime gallantry medal. He is the second airman to receive this award and the first one who received it for ground combat.
Altogether six terrorists, including the nephew of Lashkar-e-Toiba chief and mastermind of the 26/11 terror strikes Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, were killed in the fierce gun-battle.
Salute to the Brave Son of India: Martyr Corporal Jyoti Prakash Nirala of the elite #GarudCommandos of IAF awarded #AshokaChakra for act of Gallantry.The brave soldier Killed five terrorists on 18Nov17 at Hajin. Long live the Courage of Cpl Nirala.#RepublicDay @SpokespersonMoD pic.twitter.com/6RfIzrMplh
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) January 26, 2018
— ADG PI – INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) January 26, 2018
It was November of last year, The Rashtriya Rifles-Garud team, acting on an intelligence input, had surrounded a house at the Chandragarh village in Hajin area when they came under heavy fire from the terrorists holed up inside.
“Nirala, armed with a light machine gun, displayed conspicuous bravery in confronting the terrorists and killing two to three of them despite himself being hit by bullets. All six terrorists were killed,” said an official.
He was part of the small Garud commando batch attached to the Army’s specialised counterinsurgency force, the Rashtriya Rifles, when he displayed the “pre-eminent act of valour” on November 18.
Since last year, small units of Garud commandos are undergoing “battle-inoculation” and “live situational training” with the Rashtriya Rifles for counter-terrorism operations, as part of the decision taken after the terror attack on the Pathankot airbase in January, 2016. Three Garud commandos have laid down their lives in the operations till now