January 2004 News

Sena medal awardee Dar had chosen Indian Army over militancy in J&K

17 January 2004
The Daily Excelsior

JAMMU: Lance Naik Mohammad Altaf Dar who achieved martyrdom while fighting Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) militants had chosen to join the Indian Army in 1997 at a time when most of his friends were crossing the Line of Control (LoC) from his native border district of Kupwara to Pakistan to get trained in conducting terrorist activities. 'My husband overcame pressure from his friends to become a militant and instead chose to join the Indian Army,' his widow 24-year-old Meema Begum told PTI here. Meema, who recieved from General Officer Commanding in-Chief (GoC-in-C) Northern Command, Lt Gen Hari Prasad the Sena Medal awarded for gallantry to her deceased husband said' I feel honoured and proud of my husband who died for his country.' Dar hailed from Hawari Hamlet in the Kupwara district of north Kashmir and he was among a handful of Kashmiri Muslim youths who had dared to join the Army. Meema who has a four-year-old daughter appealed to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Defence Minister George Fernandes and Army Chief Gen N C Vij to help her in becoming a doctor. She said that she now lives with her parents and does not want to be a burden for them any more. 'I want the Army to help me as I am part of the Army family,' Meema said. (PTI)  


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