How many of us remember Burhan Wani? We all must have heard his name. Right? He is the celebrated hero for some people and terrorist for others.

Now if I ask you that how many of us remember Col. M.N.Rai, most of us would need the help of internet to know about him.

He was awarded Yudh Seva Medal on Republic Day. Barely 24 hours later, acting on the intelligence inputs of terrorists hiding at a house in Tral region, he went with a quick reaction team.

When the quick reaction team surrounded the house and were in an operation to nab the terrorists, the relatives of the terrorists came out and pleaded with the officer not to engage in a full scale operation. However, both the terrorists rushed out of the house firing indiscriminately.

The daughter of Col MN Rai cries as she salutes to pay her last respect to his mortal remains during his cremation in the Delhi Cantt on Thursday. Rai was killed in a gunbattle with militants in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday. PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist

One of those terrorists was none other than Burhan Wani. The army team decided not to fire directly on the house and instead went for a search operation so that no innocent person is killed but little did they knew that the real enemy is living at this side of the border.

Ever since the insurgency in Kashmir (1989) according to this wikipedia page more than 4,600 security personnel were martyred. These soldiers died fighting armed terrorists, not the soldiers of an enemy nation.

Col Rai, who belonged to Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh, was the youngest of three brothers. Rai’s eldest brother Lt Colonel D N Rai is also from the Gorkha Regiment, while his second brother Y N  Rai is in the CRPF. The latter had suffered a bullet injury during the Raghunath temple operation in Jammu in November 2002. The family has a history of serving the country.

While we are busy talking about the rights of these terrorists who have been killing innocent people in the name of religion, we forget the supreme sacrifices made by our Army men in order to keep us safe and secure. It is high time when we realize who the actual heroes are!