New Delhi: Presenting gallantry awards posthumously to family members of fallen soldiers is always a sombre moment for India and Indians during Republic Day celebrations. On Friday, it was the turn of President Ram Nath Kovind to present one such honour - and he was left visibly emotional.
President Kovind, attending Republic Day celebrations for the first time as Head of State - presented the Ashok Chakra to the wife and mother of Late Air Force Commando JP Nirala. The braveheart had shown exemplary courage during the Bandipora encounter in November of last year. Part of a joint operation against terrorists, he threw caution to the wind and fought with valour. Unfortunately, he was eventually wounded and he succumbed to his injuries.
#AshokaChakra awarded to Late Air Force Commando JP Nirala, who lost his life in Bandipora encounter. President Kovind presents award to JP Nirala's mother and wife. #RepublicDay pic.twitter.com/S6E7pJysdP
— ANI (@ANI) January 26, 2018
It was a tale that left President Kovind visibly emotional and he was seen wiping tears with a handkerchief after presenting Nirala's wife and mother with the Ashok Chakra.
Moments like these serve as a reminder of the valour and sacrifices of India's brave warriors.