16-year-old from Jammu & Kashmir awarded Shaurya Chakra for foiling militant attack
Irfan Ramzan Sheikh was 14-years-old when three militants attacked his house in 2017. He engaged in a fistfight with them and foiled the attack on his house.
President Ram Nath Kovind, on Tuesday, conferred the Shaurya Chakra, a peace-time gallantry award, on 16-year-old Irfan Ramzan Sheikh for putting up a brave fight against militants who attacked his home in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district.
The incident occurred on October 16-17, 2017, when Irfan was only 14 years old. Three militants singled out his house to attack Irfan’s father, Mohammad Ramzan Sheikh, a former sarpanch with affiliations to the People's Democratic Party.
According to news reports, hearing noises, Irfan went outside his house to find three militants in the verandah armed with rifles and grenades.
As per the award citation,
Sensing that the militants could harm his family, he exhibited the highest degree of courage and faced the militants for some time to avoid their entry inside the house. In the meantime, his father came out and the militants pounced on him, resulting in a scuffle.
Irfan’s father was injured in the ensuing firing, while he fought one of the militants. In the shootout, a militant was also injured and succumbed to his injuries.
Seeing this, the militants withdrew leaving their associate’s body behind.
The Shaurya Chakra citation further reads,
Irfan Ramzan Sheikh exhibited the extraordinary show of bravery and maturity in such a small age.
Following the attack, Irfan’s father was rushed to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, according to a report by The Indian Express.
The report added that following the death of the militant, Shaukat Falahi, angry protestors torched Irfan’s house forcing his family to move out. Irfan, a class X student, aspires to join the police force.
(With inputs from PTI)