Gujjars Demand Gallantry Award For Rukhsana

1 October 2009
The Hindu

Jammu: Gujjars in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday demanded the country’s highest gallantry award for their community girl who killed a top Lashkar-e-Taiba militant in Rajouri district recently. “She has done our community proud. We urge President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram to honour the brave girl with the highest gallantry award of the country,” Tribal Foundation Secretary Javaid Rahi told journalists here. Rukhsana (22) killed the militant and injured another at Kalsian village, about 217 km from here on the night of September 27. A letter signed by top Gujjar leaders was sent to Ms. Patil, Dr. Singh and Mr. Chidambaram, urging them to recognise this “rarest, unmatched and extraordinary act of courage of a fearless young Gujjar girl,” Dr. Rahi said. She deserved a national honour for this, he added. Rukhsana, along with her sibling, overpowered a Lashkar terrorist, snatched his rifle and fired at him, killing him on the spot. Police protection Governor N.N. Vohra said on Tuesday that he wanted to recommend the girl for the gallantry award. The State government has provided police protection to the young girl and her family and has rewarded her with Rs. 5,000. The Gujjars also demanded that an exclusive Gujjar regiment be raised in the Army.