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Smriti Irani hails Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani, says he believed in idea of India

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Bengaluru, Jan 26: Union Minister Smriti Irani on Saturday hailed Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani, who was awarded the Ashoka Chakra (posthumous) on the 70th Republic day.

Smriti Irani

She highlighted that the interesting thing about Wani's journey is that before he joined the Indian Army, he was a part of a terrorist group.

"Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani joined Army in 2004, received Sena medal in 2007 and 2018. Today posthumously, the Ashok Chakra was bestowed upon him. The interesting thing about his journey is that before he joined the Indian Army, he was a part of a terrorist movement," she said while addressing students in Bengaluru.

"A man who raised arms against India, surrendered, for he believed in India, and then went on to fight for that very idea of India. It's very easy for people like us to talk about belief, it's absolutely different when you're laying your life for that belief," she added.

Terrorist to decorated soldier: Lance Naik Wani to be conferred Ashoka Chakra posthumously

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the family of Lance Naik Wani at the "At Home" function in the national capital after the Republic day celebrations. President Ram Nath Kovind and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman too met the family.

He was conferred the Ashoka Chakra, India's highest peacetime gallantry award. Wani's wife Mahajabeen and mother Raja Bano received the award from President Kovind.

Wani was a terrorist-turned-soldier who laid down his life fighting a group of terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district in November 2018.

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