Udhampur bravehearts who nabbed LeT terrorist honoured

Two bravehearts from Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir, who captured a Pakistani terrorist who held them hostage after attacking a BSF bus, said on Thursday that they were proud they could in their own little way help their motherland.

They also said they were not afraid even when their lives were under threat after the incident.

"We offered him food, but instead he wanted to kill us. But we overpowered him," said Rakesh Sharma, 24, and Vikramjit, 33, who helped capture alive Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Mohammed Naveed alias Usman.

The duo, related to each other, said that though they faced threats to their lives, they were not bothered as service to the nation was supreme.

"We did not care for our lives; we will continue to serve our country," Rakesh said, recounting the incident which pushed them into national limelight.

"It was a great thing for us that we could do something small for the security of our motherland," said Vikramjit.

Without bothering about their safety, they grabbed Naveed's AK-47 rifle and pinned him to the ground.

Naveed and another terrorist had attacked a BSF bus on August 5 at Narsu Nallah in Udhampur district, killing two troopers and injuring 11 others.

While Naveed's accomplice was killed in the gunfight with BSF troopers, he managed to escape to Samroli, 15 km from the attack site on the Jammu-Srinagar highway. He later took three people hostage in a house in Chirdi village.

Rakesh and Vikramjit were on Thursday felicitated with 'Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Bravery Award' by All India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) chairman M.S. Bitta and Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty.

The duo, who flew down to Mumbai especially to receive the award, were given Rs.1 lakh each by AIATF.

Jammu and Kashmir Police have already recommended their names to the Centre for Shaurya Chakra gallantry award.

AIATF chief Bitta said he planned to visit their native village and meet the villagers, besides asking the Jammu and Kashmir government to make efforts for their uplift.

"If a movie is made on this incident, I would like to portray the roles of either Rakesh Sharma and Vikramjit," Suniel Shetty said, adding that the duo's heroic act was much bigger than what he had played in the movie 'Border'.

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