Ashok Chakra awardee’s family pride is tinged with regret


Ghaziabad: The old parents are proud that their son, Maj Mohit Sharma, who was gunned down while fighting terrorists in the Kashmir Valley this March has been awarded the Ashok Chakra – the highest peacetime gallantry award. But there is also a tinge of regret as the family says the government “neglected” them until now.

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“We got a call from commanding officer Col A.D. Shah three days back informing us that Mohit will receive the Ashok Chakra posthumously. We were filled with pride,” Maj Mohit Sharma’s father Rajendra Prasad Sharma told IANS at their home in Ghaziabad.

“There are two types of martyrs – one who laid down their lives for the country and freed it from foreign occupation, and the other are those who are currently fighting for the country. Terrorism is playing havoc in the country and it is only because of such brave army men that the common citizen is safe,” he said.

Maj Mohit Sharma’s brother Madhur Sharma said: “Mohit will always be remembered for his bravery. He was very passionate about joining the army and serving the country. We initially asked him to choose another career but he was very determined to join the armed forces.”

Maj Mohit Sharma’s father, however, has one regret.

“The government did not help us. Nobody from the government came to us after his death to express solidarity. Several patriotic programmes were organised at various places, but we were never called upon to attend those events,” Rajendra Prasad Sharma said.

Maj Mohit Sharma died in March while fighting terrorists in the jungles of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir. Sharma was with eight of his battalion members in the jungle and gunned down five militants, before getting hit by a bullet that proved fatal.