Saturday proved to be a highly successful day for the Indian Army as it gunned down all 6 terrorists who’d infiltrated into our territory from Pakistan. However, this success came at a cost. A soldier from the Indian Air Force’s Garud Commando Force attained martyrdom.
Thirty-one-year old Corporal JP Nirala sustained bullet injuries during the encounter with terrorists, and died in hospital. But before he passed away he gave a marvellous display of unparalleled bravery and dedication to the safety of our land. He single-handedly shot down three terrorists!
The terrorists were holed up inside a house. Following a tip-off a joint team comprising Garud commandos and Rashtriya Rifles surrounded the house to eliminate the terrorists.
Air Force sources said this about Colonel Nirala: “Corporal Nirala, who was holding a Light Machine Gun, immediately fired back at the fleeing terrorists. With accurate and heavy fire, he killed two to three terrorists and stopped the movement of others. But while doing so, he changed his position without caring for his own safety and was hit by a bullet.”
Corporal Nirala had joined the IAF in 2005. The Garud unit of which he was a part of was raised in 2004 with the specific motive to protect vital installations and carry out counter-terror operations.
Eventually, all six terrorists were killed which included the nephew of the Mumbai terror attack plotter Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi.
The ultimate sacrifice made by Colonel Nirala should be known to all. The media, however, did scant reporting of the unbelievable valor that he showed.
Even though the number of soldiers we lose to encounters with terrorists has reduced a lot, the forces still suffer casualties. The unfortunate part is that the sacrifices of our men go unnoticed because the media is least interested in showing such news.
We’ve made bigger heroes of actors and cricketers but we have an appalling level of indifference towards those who give their lives for us. We don’t know their names; we shrug off news of a soldier getting killed in an encounter like it means nothing to us; majority of us truly are selfish and ungrateful.
For us patriotism is getting emotionally involved in an Indo-Pakistan cricket match, but that is not patriotism at all. We must get out definition of patriotism correct. It is standing with our soldiers; it is keeping them in our thoughts; it is making all efforts possible to help the families of our martyrs live a life that is devoid of financial problems; it is respecting the sacrifice they make. If we are to survive as a nation in the long run, we MUST learnt to acknowledge the deeds of our soldiers and appreciate the fact that it is because of them that we are safe and living our lives as we want to.