New Delhi: Their audacious act in nabbing Naved, a suspected Pakistani terrorist, may have helped India get crucial leads to nail Pakistan for the Udhampur attack, but Rakesh and Vikramjeet remain unperturbed by the adulation, saying it was "their responsibility".
The duo was felicitated today at an event organised by All -India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) during which they were hailed as 'great sons of India' by its chairman M S Bitta.
"I have not done anything that big. After all, whatever I did was in a way my responsibility as well," Rakesh, whose diminutive appearance hardly betrays his daredevilry, told reporters.
On a somewhat philosophical note, Vikramjeet added, "Since death is inevitable, why not die fighting? That was what was going through my mind when the terrorist captured us."
Jammu and Kashmir Police yesterday recommended their names for the 'Shaurya Chakra' gallantry medal. The police also issued appointment orders to the duo, who were taken hostage by the terrorist while looking for an escape route during the attack on Aug. 5.
Presenting them with trophies and cash rewards, Bitta urged the people to "take a lesson" from their brave act. The fight against terrorism should not be limited to "TV room discussions", Bitta added.
"We should not be overly dependent on the security forces. We should take lessons from the way they (the duo) put up a brave fight and caught the terrorist. We should also show such exemplary courage. Only then terrorism can be tackled," he said.
Bitta also rued that fallen soldiers are "forgotten" as soon as they stop featuring in the headlines, days after such terror attacks. "We should be steadfast in our commitment to not forget their contribution," the AIATF chief said.
Jeevan Kumar, a resident of Chirdi, who was also present at the event, said the villagers were still "fear-struck" as something of the sort had never taken place before in that area.
"We just cannot get over the day terror hit home. Such is the horror," he said.
Two BSF soldiers were killed and 11 personnel injured in the attack on a convoy of the para-military force on Jammu- Srinagar national highway in Udhampur on August 5.