SRINAGAR: With sighs and sobs, a broken mother from Kashmir today received a Shaurya Chakra, the country’s third-highest gallantry award for peacetime, on behalf of her son, who died in the line of duty in an anti-militancy operation in 2019.
A video shared by news agency ANI shows Sara Begum, the mother of Jammu and Kashmir Special Police Officer Bilal Ahmad Magray, struggling to hold back her tears as the voiceover narrated how her son evacuated civilians and engaged militants despite being seriously injured in the security operation.
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His wife Gulnaz Akhtar received the award from the President in Delhi pic.twitter.com/MgdbAyCO3H
— ANI (@ANI) November 22, 2021
The moving clip also shows the security personnel escorting the elderly woman gently pat her on the back to comfort her in a moment when grief contests with pride.
After receiving the award from President Ram Nath Kovind, Sara Begum turned to greet senior ministers seated behind her. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, apparently moved by the emotionally charged moment, is seen consoling the elderly woman before she walks away with her son’s glory in her hand.
The citation for the award says following an input about the presence of terrorists at a home in Baramulla, security forces had launched an operation.
President Kovind presents Shaurya Chakra to Shri Bilal Ahmad Magray, Special Police Officer, J&K Police (Posthumous). His valiant action led to neutralisation of one terrorist. He showed indomitable courage and evacuated civilians from the target house during an operation. pic.twitter.com/dQRr5xTvL1
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) November 23, 2021
“Bilal Ahmad Magray volunteered himself to the room intervention operational party and thereby to evacuate the entrapped civilians from the target house and to neutralize the terrorist. When SPO Bilal Ahamd was evacuating the civilians, the hiding militant lobbed a number of hand grenades and fired indiscriminately upon him and his operational colleagues, resulting in serious injuries to him and party commander SI Amar Deep and also one civilian namely Sonu Lal,” the citation added.
Despite being seriously injured, Magray showed “indomitable courage and evacuated the injured civilian and other civilians outside,” it added.
The police officer kept firing till he lost consciousness due to excessive bleeding, the citation said.