Soldier martyred in J&K to get Ashok Chakra posthumously

Jammu: A soldier of the army’s elite special forces who made the supreme sacrifice in Jammu and Kashmir will be the sole recipient of the Ashok Chakra award during this year’s Republic Day celebrations on January 26.

Late Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami of the Northern Command’s elite special forces will be awarded the Ashok Chakra for attaining martyrdom in Jammu and Kashmir while fighting terrorists, Northern Command’s spokesman Colonel S.D. Goswami told IANS here on Monday.

The intrepid commando killed two terrorists before he laid down his life during exchange of heavy gunfire with terrorists in Hafruda forests in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir. He had killed 10 guerrillas in 11 days before attaining martyrdom.

“The martyrdom and indeed the selfless gallantry of late Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami received a deserving recognition from a proud nation when he was conferred the Ashok Chakra, the country’s highest peacetime gallantry award, on the occasion of the 67th Republic Day,” the spokesman said.

He said that late Lance Naik Goswami – the intrepid and indefatigable commando – was a natural choice of his commanders for any challenging mission and he was ever too willing to oblige.

On September 2, 2015, Lance Naik Goswami was engaged in a fierce encounter with terrorists hiding in the Hafruda forests. As the encounter raged, two of Lance Naik Goswami’s comrades were wounded.

Undeterred by the intense volley of fire, he rushed to rescue them and in the act – despite getting grievously wounded himself – he not only eliminated two terrorists but also saved the lives of his comrades.

“Lance Naik Goswami succumbed to his injuries in the highest traditions of the Indian Army,” the spokesman said.

The martyred commando hailed from Indira Nagar village in Haldwani tehsil of Nainital district (Uttarakhand) and is survived by his wife and a seven-year-old daughter.

Ashok Chakra, India’s highest peacetime gallantry ward, is the peace-time equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra awarded for acts of bravery on the battle front. It is awarded for the “most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent valour or self-sacrifice” other than in the face of the enemy.

The decoration may be awarded either to military or civilian personnel and may be awarded posthumously.