A soldier who died in May while killing four suspected armed intruders in north Kashmir won India’s top peace-time army award as the government announced gallantry medals for more than 1,000 personnel on the eve of Independence Day.
Havildar Hangpang Dada of 35 Rashtriya Rifles(Assam Regiment), a native of Arunachal Pradesh, who gave his life while foiling terrorists' infiltration bid in Naugam sector of Jammu and Kashmir on May 26 this year, has been conferred Ashok Chakra on the Independence Day, defence spokesperson (J&K) Col. S D Goswami said.
36-year-old Dada, who laid down his life for the country on May 27 this year, valiantly fought in the treacherous Shamsabari range in North Kashmir eliminating four heavily-armed terrorists who had infiltrated into North Kashmir from Pak-occupied-Kashmir (PoK).
Col Goswami said Havildar Dada sacrificed his life by killing three terrorists and injuring another militant from a close quarter without thinking of safety. He said that Havildar Dada led a charge on the terrorists who were hiding in Naugam sector.
"While engaged in fierce gun battle with the third terrorist, Dada sustained a sudden burst of fire from the hiding fourth terrorist. Undeterred by the gunshot wound, Dada continued to pin down the fourth terrorist and later succumbed to his injuries before wounding the terrorist badly," Col Goswami said.
Apart from him, eight Army men from the Northern Command got Shaurya Chakra, the third highest award for gallantry during peacetime. Five of them got this gallantry award posthumously.
All together, the government has announced one Ashok Chakra, 14 Shaurya Chakras, 63 Sena Medals, two Nau Sena Medals and two Vayu Sena Medals.
The government also announced PMG to 170 personnel, President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service to 88 personnel and Police Medal for Meritorious Service to 683 personnel.
The soldier is survived by his wife Chasen Lowang Dada, a government employee, and two children of 7 and 11 years of age.