This IAF commando will become first air warrior to receive Ashok Chakra award posthumously


By Our Reporter, TNT News | New Delhi, Jan 25, 2018: 

A Corporal of the Indian Air Force who made the supreme sacrifice while single-handedly killing at least two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists last year, Late Corporal Jyoti Prakash Nirala of the elite Garud Commandos will become the first air warrior to receive the highest peacetime gallantry award — the Ashok Chakra award posthumously on Republic Day on Friday.

According to Defence sources, this is for the  first time when an Indian Air Force soldier will be conferred Ashok Chakra.

Nirala is being honoured for the act of gallantry for killing Mehmood Bhai and Owaid alias Obama Jungi during the Chandergeer Operation on November 18 2017.

Among those he killed in the fierce gun battle was a man named Owaid. He was a nephew of LeT chief and 26/11 Mumbai terror mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. Nirala lost his life in this operation which took place last November in the Hajin area of Jammu and Kashmir.

The 31-year-old commando was the breadwinner of his family. He hailed from the Badladih area in Bihar's Rohtas district. He is survived by his widow Sushma, a minor daughter, ailing parents, and three unmarried sisters.

Nirala joined the IAF in 2005 and was a 'Corporal' when he was martyred. He was part of the small Garud commando batch attached to the Army's specialized counter-insurgency force, the Rashtriya Rifles, when he was martyred.

Last year in November, the Rashtriya Rifles-Garud team, acting on intelligence inputs, surrounded a house in Chandragarh village in Hajin, when they came under heavy fire from 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.

In recognition of the supreme sacrifice made by Nirala, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had announced an ex-gratia of Rs 11 lakh to the next of the kin of the commando.