The ethos and values of Indian armed forces are based on the belief that national unity and brotherhood is more important than individual religion. Once a person adorns uniform he is a soldier first and an individual with distinct religious identity later. Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christians,Jain, Parsis they not only serve together but also live together. All Soldiers in vivid uniforms representing vivid arms and forces are bands of brothers together and keep faith in each other,even with their lives. I am going to tell you an incident where the religious decorum and protocols did not matter before the safety of the brothers in arms.
In 2017, a fidayeen attack suspected by LeT terrorist group was attempted on Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp at Sunbal in the Bandipore area of North Kashmir. The plan was to slaughter the sleeping soldiers and cause massive damage at the dawn before the morning activities stir in the CRPF Camp. This had been common technique of terrorists in recent years and they had mostly been successful attempting such attacks on unsuspecting sleepy soldiers at wee hours.URI Attacks in Jammu and Kashmir
Commandant Iqbal Ahmad had recently taken over command of 45th CRPF battalion after his predecessor Chetan Cheeta got critically injured by nine bullet wounds by 30 rounds of fire during a militant attack on 14th February 2017 at Hajin Bandipora. The brave 45 year old officer slipped into a coma but miraculously survived later. Commandant Iqbal Ahmed, originally from Allahabad had always been an officer with a reputable service record. He joined CRPF in 1997 after completing his MA from Allahabad University and he was completely aware of the constant dangers lurking around in the area. Kashmir was not an alien land to him, Anantnag district was in fact his first posting when he had been part of many anti terrorist operations. Apart from several Kashmir postings he had also served in Nagaland, Tripura and was even deployed in riot-hit areas of Gujarat in 2002. He knew he had huge shoes to fill in.
On 5th June 2017 he had got up early in the morning for his Sehri which is the customary pre dawn meal in preparation for a long day of fasting during the Holy Ramadan Month. It was exactly when wireless crackled ominously. There was a fidayeen attack at Sunbal CRPF Camp. Sheri was forgotten and he picked up his assault rifles,timely alerted others and rushed to the camp where the Fidayeen attack was going on. He remained there till all the 4 terrorists had been killed. The security personnel learnt about the terrorist presence by the loud and consistent barks of the street dogs fed regularly by the CRPF personnel of the particular camp. The loud barks alerted them of terrorists hiding nearby. They fired up illuminator which confirmed their doubts about terrorists and they could immediately send call for back up when Commandant Iqbal Ahmed received it and rushed immediately who had risen early at wee hours because of the Sehri.
The quick response and immediate reinforcement to deal with the terrorists foiled the attack which could have not only have taken many lives but also destroyed families,orphaned children and widowed the women.
He was later awarded with DG disc for bravery.The DG disc is awarded to the troops for their excellent services and carrying out special operations involving life risk and danger.
While many people with invested motives and media houses with agendas tries their best to communalise the forces and nation. These are heroes from all religions who bleed to sustain the sovereignty of our great nation called India.
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