Heroes of India: Sagas of Bravery

RIFLEMAN RAIECE AHMED GANIE, SHAURYA CHAKRA 

Jammu and Kashmir has been in a deadlock of relations with the once united neighbors, India and Pakistan called India prior to 1947. There has been a load of bloodshed and loss of lakhs of innocent lives due to militancy in the Valley. Nevertheless, Jammu and Kashmir has given birth to many brave hearts who have kept the fervor of patriotism running high among the people of the Valley. These sons of the nation hailing from the Valley have exhibited acts of gallantry, surpassing all human limits of bravery and courage. Many acts go unnoticed and the heroes remain unsung. One of such brave sons of the Valley who has dedicated his life for the nation and continues to serve unconditionally is Rifleman Raiece Ahmed Ganie from Anantnag district. This living legend is a disciplined soldier who remains an exemplary illustration for the youth in the present times to motivate them for patriotism.

Rifleman Raiece Ahmed Ganie was born on 02 October 1983 at village Furrah, Mir Bazar, Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir. He had an inclination for Army since his childhood. He was inspired from the stories of soldiers of Indian Army who saved Kashmir from getting into aggressor’s hands in his village by the village elders. His dream came true on 05 February 2001 when he joined the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry and started his military training at the Regimental Centre and then posted to one of the units. He is married to Mrs Parveena Akhtar and is blessed with a son Mr Ruman Ibne Rayees.

Rifleman Raiece Ahmed Ganie was posted to a Rashtriya Rifles Battalion in December 2006. Upon posting to the RR Battalion, the dedicated and gallant soldier was posted the Ghatak Platoon at Pulwama. He displayed remarkable tactical acumen and resolute dedication in his approach to counter militancy in operations. He used to lead the team in the RR Battalion and was instrumental in collecting hard intelligence leading to a number of successful operations with minimum unavoidable or no collateral damage leading to neutralization of many foreign militants thus, contributing for peace in the valley. Being native to the Valley and having an added advantage of having knowledge of the terrain he used to volunteer for all operations by himself.

Finally, the day arrived when he got a chance to prove his bravery when on 13 February 2007 based on specific inputs from the intelligence agencies a cordon and search operation was launched at 1300 hours to neutralize militants in a village of Pulwama district. At 1815 h while de inducting, suspicious movement was noticed near village SIR. As usual Rifleman Raiece Ahmed Ganie was the leading scout due to his initiative led conscience. He challenged two individuals making hostile movements. Immediately the party came under heavy fire from the militants. Displaying high standards of military training imparted to him, battle craft, he took cover, retaliated and injured one militant. Intense firefight ensued for the next 15 minutes and he fired back valiantly undeterred providing cover for fire and movement of the team. Realizing grave danger to his colleagues, he braved to crawl through the adjoining Nala and positioned himself at the mouth of the Nala without detection. In a flash, displaying exceptional courage at his own peril, he charged and eliminated the injured foreign militant. This attracted the attention of the second militant taking cover near the adjoining boulder who in turn hurled grenades and fired at him. He repeatedly exposed himself to danger undeterred and against heavy odds. Without caring for the safety of his own life he charged at the second militant and killed him at point blank range for the sake of his team members and his dedication towards nation.

For displaying most conspicuous gallantry, indomitable courage, saving lives of his colleagues in the highest tradition of Indian Army and eliminating two dreaded foreign militants Rifleman Raiece Ahmed Ganie was awarded with Shaurya Chakra on 15 August 2007.

This brave son of the Valley is a serving soldier and will remain to be the source of inspiration for the youth for many ages to come. His gallant act has inspired thousands of men from the Valley to join the Army and carry forward the culture of heroism which runs high in the veins of people of Jammu and Kashmir. His acts of valor are popular tales of bravery amongst the people of his village and bring laurels for the Valley.   Undoubtedly, Rifleman Raiece Ahmed Ganie is a living legend and this Valley needs thousands of his like for a prosperous Jammu and Kashmir.

BRAVEHEART OF JAK LI LATE L/NK GH MOHD KHAN, VrC

Late L/Nk Gh Mohd Khan, VrC was born in village Nambal, PO-Balhama, Teh -Sopore, Distt – Baramulla (J&K) on 01 Feb 1973 to Mr Sher Wali Khan. He completed his schooling till 9th standard at his native village.

 As a student he was known to be sincere and hardworking. The seeds of patriotism were sowed in him way back in childhood. His ambition to serve the country and the love for olive green led him to be recruited in the Army. He joined the JAK LI Regiment on 25 Sep 1994 and after successful completion of basic military training, he was posted to 12th Bn of Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry.

On 11 June 1999, Lance Naik Ghulam Mohammad Khan, VrC was tasked to neutralise one of the enemy positions at an altitude of approximately 17,400 feet, on point 5203 (OP VIJAY).  He was Rocket Launcher Number One of ‘A’ Company.  Lance Naik Khan had infiltrated with the column during the night after a treacherous climb lasting nine hours and occupied a position behind the enemy retaining complete surprise.  The column was waiting to assault the enemy when, at 0430 hours, Lance Naik Khan spotted approximately 20 enemy soldiers advancing towards his team. Without wasting any time he warned his comrades and fired his Rocket Launcher, killing three enemy soldiers. While Lance Naik Khan was in the process of reloading the Rocket Launcher, the enemy swept the area with intense automatic fire killing several of his comrades. Undeterred, Lance Naik Khan continued to fire at the enemy till he also sustained multiple bullet injuries to which he succumbed later.

L/Nk Gh Mohd Khan was instrumental in beating back a well-planned counter attack at a crucial juncture in the battle. For displaying exceptional valour in the face of the enemy and for his unsurpassed dedication to duty despite his injures, Lance Naik Ghulam Mohammad Khan was posthumously awarded the Vir Chakra.

He is survived by wife Mst Zarina Akhter and two daughters.

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