Three men on three different days of the year, on three different missions proved to the world that to go down fighting for the nation is a matter of honor!
-‘When I asked him how this cramping might affect his firing arm, he assured me it was nothing but I knew the guy was bleeding and applying the shell dressing. Soon he was fine and fought like a wounded tiger. That made me realize that soldiers in gun fights are mixtures of madness. Trust me they are!’
‘In fighting terror, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. It’s either he hits you or you get him. All is over in a matter of seconds but these three stone hard men were out there to prove something. Out there when you know the man on the other side is going to fire the entire environment is chilling. When he is going to press the trigger no one knows so the first cloak that has to be shed is of fear and once it is thrown away then it is a one way ticket and this happened when these three men confronted the beasts on a killing mission. Though the result was a big victory, the price paid was heavy. All three of them sacrificed their lives for the nation and that too with a big smile on their faces, perhaps telling their comrades to pick up the baton and keep running till we get to the finish line. The relay race of annihilation of terror continues with no fear in mind and the mission is just do it even if you have to part with your lives. These supermen did exactly that’.
-‘ Just as a reminder the three chivalrous knights were ASI (Assistant Sub Inspector Babu Ram, Constable Altaf Hussain and Special Police Officer (SPO) Shahbaz Ahmed. In the fight for getting peace and tranquility in Jammu and Kashmir they gave up their today for the tomorrow of young bouncing kids. Definitely they left great imprints of courage, conviction, dedication and devotion to duty for the others to tread upon. The standards that have been set are very high and there should be no looking from here for the men in Khakis and black bandanas on the prowl to hunt the animals devouring the society’.
‘IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar was right on the ball when he said that it is a matter of pride for Jammu and Kashmir Police to find the Nation recognizing the service of outstanding merit beyond the normal demands of duty which the brave hearts of this force have rendered. Indeed it was a stunning display of raw courage against the blind fury of the fusillade of the invisible whizzing bullets coming at them. It was the courage under fire that stood out because the only option was to take them on and get the man/men firing them. This incredible show of bravery will be written as a new chapter in the voluminous saga of tenacity and bravado of the men from Jammu and Kashmir Police’!
-‘ This was real action where bullets penetrate skins in the actual show time. It is here that the desperadoes of violence interact but for the men on a mission, the cocking of a gun is less a threat, a kind of punctuation mark. A security personnel while questioning someone bad might begin with threats and slaps, but when he cocks his gun, that means it is time to take him seriously. Those who do not bite the dust with bullets puncturing them. These men were from a different world altogether. The world of warriors!’
There is an old rule of fighting in insurgencies. The instructors in counter insurgency schools do tend to drill one thing into the minds of the personnel undergoing training and that is, ‘if you know that the insurgent gun men are there then stand still even if you are in the line of fire. If near a gun-fight and the weapons are wielded by amateurs, just hold back because more often than not the idiot with finger on the trigger is going to poop off his ammunition. Once he is done away with his ammunition he is a sitting duck but if professionals are handling the trigger, stand still they know where they are shooting. Invariably you will get him with a bit of prolonged patience. The band of specialists in Jammu and Kashmir Police know this.
The three top guns:
They who are brave are free! These men proved the same in a grand style! It was a sheer ferociousness of fighting that has made them immortal in the annals of Jammu and Kashmir Police history!
I. ASI Babu Ram (Ashok Chakra posthumously): He fought as if there was no tomorrow, in the fury of bullets it was the moment that mattered! A hero was coming who had fought, faced the lead just for us, so that we could be at peace in our houses. The hero was none other than ASI Babu Ram of 6th Battalion, Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police who was posted in Special Operations Group stationed at Pantha Chowk in Srinagar. He was a fighter to the hilt, deadly slinger who loved to have a faceoff with the agents of terror with only one aim and that was to vanquish them. He was no fool. He knew when to fight, and he knew when to survive to fight another day. But perhaps his impetuosity got the better of him as he with bullets inside his fragile skin he continued to fight like a man possessed. He had Infinite dreams of keeping himself awake on that exhaustless night till the morning but with blood oozing out and pangs of pain hurting he knew that for the first time in life he was in a no man’s land and the morning was still far off. That morning did arrive but Babu Ram was not awake. Glorified death had taken him into his arms by singing lullabies to put him to eternal sleep! On that night when he was about to give his final display in his own immaculate style two riders, one driver and the other pillion on a motorcycle raced towards the deployed men. They opened up in a haphazard manner and tried to fire and scoot away. The initial fusillade came on Babu Ram and caught him unawares. The payback was excellent from the SOG boys as they gunned down three desperadoes. Babu Ram had sustained critical injuries. He was taken to the hospital but the brave man had got punished severely by the metal inside him. He thus forever closed his eyes. Success was no accident or serendipity to him. He at times had all the odds against him, and he crushed each and everyone along the way but that day his immaculate form deserted him. He stood up to fight it out but he knew that for the first time he would end up on the losing side!
II. Constable Altaf Hussain Bhatt (Kirti Chakra posthumously): It was a chilly early winter day and perhaps the last when Altaaf Hussain decked himself up for the next mission or should we say an outing. He was a man who knew he had been born to fight. Taking the opponent head on was his habit. He loved dangerous adventures and that day he was going to indulge in one, perhaps the last for this innings of his life as he was about to fade into glory and Wow! What a way to do it!
That day this man was to set the skies in the Kashmir valley alight with an outrageously classy display of the art of fighting. A resident of Eidgah Srinagar, police at that time said, Altaf Hussain displayed exemplary bravery and courage to repulse and kill the terrorist before he laid down his life. Hundreds of people joined funeral prayers for the bravest of the brave. He gave up his life to make sure that Ghulam Qadir, a BJP leader and panchayat member in Ganderbal lived on. The constable repulsed the attack and killed one of the attackers. During the gun battle, the policeman received bullet injuries in his chest. He was shifted to the hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. His parents, wife and his small little son must be full of pride today smiling outwardly with wet eyes. But Altaf had done the job for which he was born. He is gone but somewhere from behind the Chinaars he must be smiling and praying that the sacrifices of so many in uniform do not go waste and eventually peace returns. It was for peace that he gave up his life! He had fought bravely and killed the terrorist, who was a close associate of Reyaz Naikoo – Hizbul Mujahideen commander who was killed later.
III. Shahbaz Ahmed (Shaurya Chakra posthumously): He was a young stud from the muscular and full of enthusiasm of the stud farms of Manjakote. The kid was a go-getter and that day he was hell bent on creating history. Trust me he did it in style.
The anti-militancy operation at Zantrag Khrew village in Awantipora sub-district, 50 km from Srinagar had started that day in the morning last year when joint teams of forces started a cordon and search operation in the area after an input about the militants’ presence. In the initial gunfight, 26-year-old Sepoy Rahul Rainswal, who had joined the Army in 2013, and a Special Police Officer, Shahbaz Ahmed, were killed. Special Police Officer (SPO) Shahbaaz Ahmed of Rajouri district, who lost his life in the encounter with the militants in Kashmir was finally laid to rest at his native village in Manjakot tehsil of Rajouri district on. A wreath-laying ceremony was held at the District Police Lines in Srinagar. Hundreds of villagers paid tributes to the slain officer. Shabaaz was laid to rest with full military honors. The kid was brave and had a childhood aim of joining the forces. He was selected and he delivered in a strikingly splendid way. It’s sad that he is not amongst us but trust me he is somewhere goading his comrades to keep going on till the finish line is achieved.
IV. DGP piles on praise for the valorous three:
The Police chief Dilbag Singh congratulated the force after some of its personnel were awarded gallantry awards, including Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra, on the eve of Independence Day. Singh, in a press release, thanked Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Union home minister Amit Shah and Union home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla for their recognition of the valor and sacrifice of the J&K police and for awarding the highest ever number of Service and Gallantry medals on the eve of the 75th Independence Day. He also said that the force has been awarded the highest number of 275 service and gallantry medals announced by the Union home ministry on Independence Day.
J&K Police has been awarded 1 out of total 2 President’s Police Medal for Gallantry (PPMG), 256 out of total 628 Police Medals for Gallantry (PMG), 2 President’s Police Medals for Distinguished Service, (PPM DS),16 Police Medals for Meritorious Service. That indeed is a stupendous achievement.
When an encounter breaks out and bullets leave the barrels the scenario is not for the timid. It is through the dark bushes, the bullets make screaming noises and grenades roar with explosions, hats coming off, hair flying, mouths making sounds, one man firing as he runs, he has to be a desperado and has to be taken out. He is and then the mopping up for the last of the killing beasts before yet again for time being silence prevails! This is what happens. The winner has to be only one, Jammu and Kashmir Police! The sun, rising and setting in splendid colors, never grows tired of its admirers much like soldiers, aglow with grace, never grow tired of chivalrous acts or a deadly face off! This is just yet another splendid beginning for Jammu and Kashmir Police