The nation paid homage this morning to Havildar Hangpan Dada, awarded the Ashoka Chakra, the highest award to an army man during peace-time operations, for killing four terrorists who had infiltrated into north Kashmir last year. The Havildar killed three of the intruders and fatally injured a fourth before he died of bullet wounds at 13,000 feet in the icy Himalayas. His wife Chasen Lowang received the medal from President Pranab Mukherjee at Rajpath today.
On May 27, 2016, the Havildar and his team spotted the movement of terrorists and engaged the four-heavily armed men in Jammu and Kashmir’s Naugam. The 36-year-old led his team to the spot where the terrorists were holed up and killed two of them on the spot. He killed a third after a hand-to-hand scuffle as they slid down the hill towards the Line of Control.
As he engaged the third terrorist, the hidden fourth terrorist opened fire at him. Undeterred, Havildar Dada, bleeding profusely, challenged the fourth intruder, wounding him before he died.
The soldier’s bravery and presence of mind saved the lives of his other team members. The fierce encounter in the Shamsabari range of north Kashmir lasted for over 24 hours.
Havildar Dada was from Boduria village in Arunachal Pradesh. Fondly called “Dada” by his comrades, he had been posted in north Kashmir since late 2015. He joined the Assam Regiment of the Indian Army in 1997 and was posted with the 35 Rashtriya Rifles.
Havildar Dada is survived by his wife and two children, daughter Roukhin, 10, and son Senwang, 6.