Srikakulam girl to get Bal Puraskar for standing up to JeM

Braving a shoulder injury, Himapriya continued her struggle to keep her mother and sisters safe.
Gurugu Himapriya
Gurugu Himapriya

SRIKAKULAM: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will honour the courage of a Srikakulam girl, who stood her ground during a terror attack and saved her mother and two younger sisters in 2018.The Prime Minister will confer the Rashtriya Bal Puraskar - 2022 on Gurugu Himapriya, now aged 12, through virtual mode. She will receive the certificate of appreciation and cash reward at the district collector’s office on Monday.

Himapriya was residing in an Army residential quarters at Sunjuwan in Jammu and Kashmir along with her father Havaldar Gurugu Satyanarayana, mother Padmavathi and sisters Rishitha and Avantika, then aged 7 and 5, respectively, when Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists attacked the camp early on February 10, 2018. Satyanarayana was away on duty at Udhampur when the camp was attacked.

Seeing a terrorist entering their quarters, Padmavathi locked herself and her three daughters up in the bedroom, and placed whatever she could get against the door. She and Himapriya, then 8, prevented the terrorist from entering the room for more than three hours. The terrorist tried to enter by lobbing a hand grenade which badly injured Padmavathi.

Braving a shoulder injury, Himapriya continued her struggle to keep her mother and sisters safe. She opened the door and engaged in a conversation with the terrorist for about an hour. The resolute girl eventually made the terrorist agree to let her take her injured and unconscious mother to a hospital.

After reaching a safe distance, she alerted the Army, which swung into action and sanitised the area. The Army later said Himapriya’s intervention not only helped in limiting the casualty, but also in capturing the terrorists.

“The Sunjuwan terrorist attack was a five-hour long nightmare. I have been listening to tales of patriotism at Kendriya Vidyalaya, where I was studying. I have learnt self-defence techniques from my father. I feel privileged to receive the Bal Puraskar from our PM,” she told TNIE.

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