New Delhi: Subedar Fateh Singh, a 51-year-old armyman who lost his life during combing operations at Indian Air Force (IAF) base near Punjab's Pathankot town on Saturday, had won a gold and a silver at the first Commonwealth Shooting Championships held in Delhi in 1995.
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) mourned his death.
"Subedar Fateh Singh sacrificed his life while fighting for his motherland at Air Base Pathankot today during an attack of militants. Subedar Fateh Singh was a legendary Big Bore shooter. He won Gold and a Silver medal during 1st Commonwealth Shooting Championship held at New Delhi in 1995," the association posted on its site.
NRAI president Raninder Singh condoled the death, saying the country has lost its beloved son and a sharp shooter.
"May Almighty grant peace to the Great Soldier. The shooting fraternity pray for the departed soul and strength to the family of great soldier to bear this irreparable loss."
Fateh Singh, retired as subedar major (hon) captain from Dogra regiment in 2009.
After retirement, he joined the Defence Security Corps (India) as subedar and was initially posted at Army War College, Mhow.
He was posted in Pathankot about two years back. He had won gold in the Big Bore Rifle Three Position and silver in Big Bore Rifle Prone Postion at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships in 1995.
"He was a thorough gentlemen and great athlete. He worked as an active member of Indian shooting team. It is a very sad day for us. He sacrificed his life for the country. I condole his death," NRAI president Raninder Singh told IANS.
Terrorists, suspected to be from Pakistan breached a high-security perimeter and entered the Indian Air Force (IAF) base near Pathankot early on Saturday.
"He was a fantastic shooter. He won gold in Big Bore Rifle Three Position and silver in Big Bore Rifle Prone Postion at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships in 1995. He used to represent the Army," NRAI secretary Rajiv Bhatia told IANS.
C.K. Chaudhury, a pistol shooter at the Army Marksmenship Unit in Mhow, said: "He was one of the first big bore rifle international shooting medallists in our country. He was an inspiration to all of us. He was like my guru and guardian when we were together a part of the shooting team at the Army Marksmenship Unit in Mhow. He had immense love and passion for shooting."