Lance Naik Om Prakash hailed from Chhitkul village in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh and was born on 02 May 1983. Son of Shri Nek Ram, he was inclined to join the Army since his childhood like many kids in his village. Following his passion, he joined the Army in 2003 at the age of 20 years. He was recruited into the famed Parachute Regiment and joined the elite 9 Para(SF) battalion. 9 Para(SF) unit, raised in 1966 as 9th Parachute Commando Battalion (now known as 9 Para(SF)), specialized in 'Mountain Warfare' and 'Counter Insurgency/Counter Terrorism' operations. 9 Para (SF) battalion of the Parachute Regiment, an elite infantry Regiment well known for its daredevil para commandos and numerous bold operations.
After serving for sometime, he got married to Ms Krishna Devi and the couple had two daughters Muskan and Simran. By 2016, he had put in over twelve years of service and developed into a tough and gritty soldier. By then he had taken part in many daredevil operations as part of 9 Para(SF).
Pampore Operation (J&K) : 21 Feb 2016
During the year 2016, L/Nk Om Prakash’s unit was deployed in the J & K area and was undertaking counterinsurgency operations on a regular basis. On 20 Feb 2016, the militants attacked a convoy of CRPF in Pampore when they were returning from a search operation. A total of 11 CRPF Jawans got wounded in the attack and then the militants entered the nearby multistoried Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) at Pampore in Pulwama district, about 15 km south of Srinagar city. The police and security forces evacuated more than 100 people, including students and EDI employees, from the building before cordoning off the area. Initially CRPF and the nearby Rashtriya Rifles battalion took charge of the operation but as the situation demanded more combat resources, 10 Para(SF) was rushed in to deal with the threat. However after Captain Pawan Kumar of 10 Para(SF) was martyred in the exchange of fire, the operation was transferred to 9 Para(SF) along with other elements of the security forces.
9 Para(SF) decided to launch a well-coordinated commando operation to neutralize the hardcore militants. Capt Tushar Mahajan was tasked to lead, plan, and execute the building intervention operation to eliminate the terrorists and L/Nk Om Prakash was made part of that team. EDI was a modern building sprawling over 10000 sq feet and having four floors with tens of offices, rooms, and halls. Capt Tushar carried out a reconnaissance of the building and laid out an effective plan to execute the mission. His plan included placing snipers all around targeting the windows so that the assault team could enter the building with minimum attrition. The plan was to enter the building from both sides after blasting the front doors, to confuse the terrorists. As planned, the two teams under the leadership of Capt Tushar entered the building using their combat skills and began securing it floor by floor and room by room. It was a very risky operation as the well-positioned terrorists in the stairwell could easily target the forces on the lower floors and quickly change their positions too. Undeterred, the first squad sanitized the first floor and signaled the others to move to the second floor.
Lance Naik Om Prakash was the leading scout of the second squad, which moved to the second floor. During the sanitization of the second floor, Lance Naik Om Prakash's squad drew heavy fire from the third floor. Realizing the immediate threat to his comrades, Lance Naik Om Prakash returned the fire at the cost of exposing himself to the terrorists. Consequently, he too received a gunshot, injuring him seriously. Despite pain and blood loss, Lance Naik Om Prakash continued to engage with the terrorists and eliminated one terrorist, before being shot again. After having ensured the safety of his comrades, he painfully extricated himself to a safer place. He was evacuated for medical treatment, but he succumbed to his injuries and was martyred. Lance Naik Om Prakash displayed remarkable courage and fighting spirit during the operation and laid down his life in the line of his duty. His sacrifice paved the way for a subsequent coordinated assault wherein all the militants were successfully neutralized. L/Nk Om Prakash was given the gallantry award “Shaurya Chakra” on 15 August 2016 for his commendable bravery, devotion to duty, and supreme sacrifice.
Lance Naik Om Prakash is survived by his wife Smt Krishna Devi and daughters Muskan and Simran.