He quickly deployed his troops and plugged any escape routes for his two targets. Aquib was the longest-surviving local militant from the area. Within a short span of time, the troops had laid the cordon and occupied tactically advantageous positions to aim at the terrorists. They then started the process to plant explosives in the house to make the terrorists reveal their positions. Major Rishi moved into the house himself for the task.
He moved in first to plant the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) to bring the house down. This is considered to be the most dangerous and challenging job in an operation. He led his very professional Quick Response Team into the firefight, placed the IED and blew up a portion of the house.
Major Rishi N of the 42 Rashtriya Rifles, who hails from Kerala, had played a huge role in bringing stability to the turbulent Tral area in the Valley. He was the first to reach the scene to hunt them down and it was his quick thinking and courage that won the day for the army.
The local Kashmiri, Aquib and Lashkar-e-Toiba militant Farsan – were cornered by the army in a house in Tral due to the first explosion. The terrorists were forced to retreat into the rear portion of the house, giving the army team and local police troops an advantage to corner them further.
However, after the continuing gun battle, the troops felt the need to blow up the remaining portion of the house too. The Major again volunteered to enter the house and place the IED. He went inside in pitch dark conditions in the middle of the night. While returning, Rishi spotted a better location and decided to place the bombs there as it would do more damage to the house.
As soon as he placed the bomb, one of the terrorists opened fire at him from point-blank range and a bullet hit directly on Rishi’s face, knocking off his nose and badly damaging his cheekbone and jaw. Despite the grave injury, the officer realized that if he allowed the terrorist to move further, his team would be endangered.
That very moment, the Major sprang up and used his AK-47 rifle to shred the terrorist in the quick moment. Then, he crawled out and led his QRT away. The RMO quickly patched him up and sent him to the hospital where surgeons laboured over him through the night. The 16-hour pitched gunfight ended with the death of the two terrorists in March 2017, leaving the Major with forever gallant nose-less face.
His ability to speak and make friends with everybody resulted in him making many friends among locals notorious for spitting on patrols in the area after Burhan’s elimination, the area under him was the quietest with no stones thrown.
For his gallant action, IC-72692W Maj Rishi R, Mech Inf, 42 RR was bestowed upon with Sena Medal for Gallantry on the Independence Day of 2017.