In a major development, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has approved a proposal for the inclusion of Squadron Ravi Khanna’s name at the National War Memorial. Squadron Leader Khanna and three other IAF officers were martyred in a terror attack in 1990 carried out by terrorist turned separatist leader, Yasin Malik. The IAF officer sacrificed his life in the line of duty en route his way to attend office near the Air Force base in Srinagar. Recently, Nirmal Khanna, wife of the late Squadron Leader, Ravi Khanna had suggested her husband’s name to be included at the National War Memorial.
The unjustifiable delay in bringing the perpetrators this terror case to task is a humongous travesty of justice. The facts of this terror attack are indeed bone chilling. On the morning of 25th January 1990 around 7:30 AM some car-borne militants opened fire at a group of unarmed IAF personnel, who were living as tenants in a private house at Rawalpora, at the outskirts of Srinagar, which resulted in the killing of IAF Squadron Leader Ravi Khanna and his three colleagues. The attack also left 40 injured. Several eyewitnesses pointed to Yasin Malik’s involvement in the firing but despite that, no charges were framed in the case for decades and Yasin Malik went on to become a separatist political leader that the UPA government shamelessly befriended.
Three decades on, the decks have finally been cleared for Yasin Malik’s trial to begun with non-bailable warrants being issued to produce Malik before the Court on 11th September. Squadron Leader Ravi Khanna was just 38 when he was martyred by being fired at 26 times. He was survived by his wife, Nirmal and his two sons aged 6.5 and 8.5 years. All this while, Yasin Malik roamed free and even met 26/11 mastermind and LeT chief Hafiz Saeed in 2013. Despite his obvious anti-India agenda, he had even been photographed with the then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and in June 2005, went as a part of Hurriyat delegation to Pakistan to lead the ‘peace talks’.
Mrs. Nirmal Khanna has been steadfastly waiting for justice in this case and finally a glimmer of hope came with some progress in this case as mentioned earlier. Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief, Yasin Malik will be presented before the special Terrorist and Disruptive Activity (TADA) court via video-conferencing on October 23. Yasin Malik is currently lodged in That jail in connection with a terror finding case registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The engravement of Squadron Leader Khanna’s name at the National War Memorial comes as a huge development which is also a fitting tribute to the late IAF officer who had given the supreme sacrifice for his country. However, it is upon the government to ensure that the main accused, Yasin Malik who has been dealt in an unwarrantedly soft manner till date, is now effectively prosecuted and brought to justice. Mrs. Nirmal Khanna’s ordeal is indeed heart wrenching. She continues to wait for justice for her husband for the last three decades and the entire nation now hopes that justice would finally be delivered in this case.