A 16-year-old Irfan Ramzan Sheikh on Tuesday received the Shaurya Chakra award from President Ram Nath Kovind as he single-handedly took on the militants who attacked his residence in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district. Usually, Shaurya Chakra is awarded to ‘armed forces’ and paramilitary personnel for displaying exemplary bravery against the enemy.
It was during October 16-17 of 2017, militants surrounded Sheikh’s house at night. His father Mohammad Ramzan was an ex-sarpanch with close links to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Sheikh opened the door only to find three militants in the courtyard of the house armed with weapons likes rifles and grenades.
Seeing this, Irfan Ramzan Sheikh sprung into action only to stop their entry into the house. When his father got into big trouble, Sheikh quickly confronted the militants and saved his father and other family members.
“Sensing that the militants could harm his family, he exhibited the highest degree of courage and stopped the militants for some time to prevent their entry into the house. In meantime, his father came out and the militants pounced on him, resulting in a scuffle,” the citation for the award read.
The militants opened fire and caused a severe injury to Sheikh’s father. Unfortunately, he later succumbed. But, Sheikh did not lose courage as he took on the militant and injured him.
After seeing one of the militants injured, others escaped from the spot. But still, Sheikh chased them. “Irfan Ramzan Sheikh exhibited the extraordinary show of bravery and maturity at such a young age,” the citation read. Currently, studying in Class X, Sheikh dreams to become an IPS officer.