It takes a lot of courage to look death in the eyes and sacrifice your life for the fellow citizens and your own colleagues. We often sit and laud the efforts and sacrifices made by the courageous heroes fighting every day for the country and saving millions of lives selflessly and unconditionally. Even after sacrificing their lives, they never get their due.
One hero is Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami who laid down his life to save his troops while battling militants. Born in Lalkuan, Nainital district in Uttarakhand, Lance Naik Mohan volunteered to join the Special Forces elite Para Commando Unit, the 9th Battalion, of the Parachute Regiment of the Indian Army in 2002. His father also served the Indian Army.
In no time, Lance Naik Mohan gained the reputation of being one of the toughest soldiers in the team. He volunteered for all the operational missions that were undertaken by his team and was also a part of numerous successful counter-terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
Lance Naik Mohan was actively involved in three counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir in September 2015, within a span of 11 days. In the first operation, which was conducted in Khurmur, Handwara in J & K, a long gunfight took place between the militants and the commandos. After that, three hardcore Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists from Pakistan were killed. He then volunteered for the second back-to-back operation in Rafiabad, Kashmir.
On the night of 23rd August, technical intelligence team received the information that a group of militants have entered from the Qafirkhan heights and were moving towards the Uri and Rafiabad areas. The Special Forces found out the militants who were hiding in a natural cave in the heights of Rafiabad area. In a fierce gunfight, again three LeT terrorists were killed and Sajjad Ahmad alias Abu Ubed Ullah was captured.
On the intervening night of 02/03 September 2015, Lance Naik Mohan volunteered for the third operation launched in the dense forest of Hafruda in Kashmir. He was a part of an ambush in Haphruda forest at Kupwara district of J & K. The Special Forces found out about a group of militants hiding in the village. In the middle of the night, there was a fierce encounter between four LeT terrorists and four commandos including Lance Naik Mohan. When two of his comrades were injured severely, Lance Naik Mohan came forward to rescue his injured colleagues, risking his own life.
He first killed one terrorist taking help from one of his colleagues. When he sensed danger to his team, he took charge of the terrorist. He took on the onslaught of fire from the enemy in an attempt to rescue his injured troops. He was then hit in the thigh. Not caring about himself, he killed another terrorist and injured the other one. He was then shot at the abdomen. Fearless about his own wounds, Lance Naik Mohan hurled himself on the last terrorist and killed him at point blank range.
Killing all the four terrorists and saving the lives of three of his colleagues, Lance Naik Mohan succumbed to his wounds. In 11 days, he helped neutralize 10 militants and capture one alive. He made supreme sacrifice in the highest tradition of the Indian Army.
On 26 January 2016, then President Pranab Mukherjee gave India’s highest peacetime gallantry award Ashok Chakra, posthumously to Lance Naik Mohan of the Rashtriya Rifles, which was received by his wife Bhawna Goswami.
Survived by his mother Shrimati Radha Devi, wife and a daughter, Lance Naik Mohan is known for his fearlessness and bravery. The display of courage and patriotism is seldom seen even in the bravest of men. He put his team above himself and defended his country with his very last breath.
His legacy will live on forever. KenFolios salutes his bravery and sacrifice.