State Times News New Delhi: In one of the rare occasions, President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday awarded Shaurya Chakra to 16-year-old Irfan Ramzan Sheikh for fighting terrorists who attacked his residence in Shopian district. Shaurya Chakra is usually awarded to armed forces and para-military personnel for “gallantry otherwise in the face of the enemy”. During the intervening night of October 16-17 of 2017, terrorists cordoned off the house of Sheikh. His father Mohammad Ramzan was an ex-sarpanch with affiliations to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
When Sheikh, the eldest son of Mohammad Ramzan, opened the door, he found three terrorists in the verandah of the house armed with rifles and grenades.
“Sensing that the terrorists could harm his family, he exhibited highest degree of courage and faced the terrorists for sometime so as to avoid their entry inside the house. In meantime, his father came out and the terrorists pounced on him, resulting in scuffle,” the citation for the award read.
Sheikh did not think for a moment for his own safety and pounced upon the terrorists for safeguarding the life of his father and other family members, it read.
The terrorists also resorted to indiscriminate firing, resulting in severe injury to Sheikh’s father. He later succumbed.
However, Sheikh did not lose courage and continued to engage in scuffle with one of the terrorists, who resorted to indiscriminate firing resulting in severe injuries to the terrorist as well.
On seeing one of their associates injured, the terrorists tried to flee. However, Sheikh chased them and they left the body of their fellow terrorist behind.
“Irfan Ramzan Sheikh exhibited the extraordinary show of bravery and maturity in such a small age,” the citation read.
Currently, studying in Class X, Sheikh aspires to become an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper