SRINAGAR: In a moment reminiscent of continuity, Inayat Vats was commissioned into the Army on March 10, marking a profound chapter in the legacy of her family’s sacrifice and dedication, reports appearing in media from Chennai said.

20 Years after Her Father Was Killed In an Operation In Kashmir, Daughter  Joins Army
20 Years after Her Father Was Killed In an Operation In Kashmir, Daughter  Joins Army on March 10, 2024

At the Officers Training Academy in Chennai, Lieutenant Vats, daughter of the late Major Navneet Vats, who laid down his life in a counter-insurgency operation twenty years ago in Kashmir, donned the olive green uniform with pride.

Major Navneet Vats was posthumously awarded the Sena Medal for his gallantry. His sacrifice left behind a young family, with his daughter Inayat barely three years old at the time.

Major Vats, hailing from Chandigarh, served in the Fourth Battalion of the Third Gorkha Rifles. During his tenure with the 32 Rashtriya Rifles, he demonstrated exemplary courage in leading an operation to liberate a besieged telecom building in Srinagar on November 18, 2003. However, he sustained fatal gunshot wounds – six bullets in his torso – during the operation and succumbed to his injuries.

In a symbolic twist of fate, Inayat, raised by her mother Shivani Vats in Chandigarh, embarked on her own journey in the footsteps of her father. Shivani, a stalwart herself, has been teaching at the Army Public School in Chandimandir, nurturing young minds with the same spirit of dedication that characterised her husband’s service.

Inayat’s journey to this momentous occasion was marked by her unwavering determination and academic prowess. A graduate of Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi, she pursued her master’s degree in Political Science from Hindu College, New Delhi, before embarking on her military training at the Officers Training Academy. Her induction into the Military Intelligence Corps signifies not only a personal triumph but also a continuation of her family’s tradition of valor and dedication to the nation.

Amidst the celebration of Inayat’s commissioning, the steadfast presence of Shivani Vats, her mother, stood as a testament to the resilience and fortitude of military families. Shivani’s unwavering support and commitment to her daughter’s aspirations, amidst the backdrop of her own teaching assignment and the profound loss of her husband, exemplify the silent sacrifices made by the families of soldiers.

Shivani’s inspiring journey has not gone unnoticed. A film depicting her struggle and resilience, titled Courage Beyond Duty, has garnered critical acclaim and shed light on the untold stories of military families.


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