New Delhi: Nath Goswami of the Special Forces, who took part in back-to-back operations in Jammu and Kashmir which resulted in killing of 10 terrorists in 11 days before being martyred, was today posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra, the country's highest peacetime gallantry award, by President Pranab Mukherjee.
The award was received by Bhavna Goswami, widow of Goswami, at the country's 67th Republic Day.
Goswami was killed at Hafruda forests in Kupwara district in fierce gunbattle with terrorists, but not before he killed two himself and helped in killing another two.
Army sources said Goswami had been actively involved in three such operations in which ten terrorists were killed and one, captured alive in 11 days.
In the first operation, three Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists were killed in Khurmur, Handwara on August 23.
Then, he again volunteered for a second back-to-back operation in which three more Lashkar terrorists were killed and another Sajjad Ahmad alias Abu Ubed Ullah captured alive during the two day-long fierce fire fight in Rafiabad on August 26-27.
Goswami once again volunteered to be part of an ongoing operation launched in the dense Hafruda forest near Kupwara, Kashmir.
This was his last operation but not before he killed two terrorists.
According to the citation, at about 8.15 pm on September 2, there was a fierce encounter with four terrorists wherein two of his comrades were injured and pinned down.
He, along with his buddy, dashed forward to rescue their injured colleagues, knowing well the risks to their own lives.
"He first assisted in eliminating one terrorist. Sensing grave danger to three of his wounded colleagues, Lance Naik Mohan with utter disregard to his own personal safety, charged at the remaining terrorists drawing intense fire from them.
"He was hit in the thigh. Unmindful, he closed in and eliminated one terrorist, injured another and was again shot in the abdomen. Undeterred by his injuries, he hurled himself on the last terrorist and killed him at point blank range before succumbing to his wounds," the citation read.
Goswami not only killed two terrorists, but also assisted in neutralising the other two and save the lives of three of his wounded colleagues.
He was awarded Ashoka Chakra (posthumous) for exhibiting most conspicuous gallantry in personally eliminating two terrorists and assisting in evacuation of his wounded colleagues.