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On the auspicious day of Gur Purab, National Defence Academy saw the unveiling of bust of late Flying Officer Nirmal Jeet Singh Sekhon, PVC the only Param Vir Chakra of Indian Air Force at the Air Force training team (AFTT) at NDA. The bust was unveiled by Air Marshal JS Kler VM, Commandant, NDA in the presence of officers of all three services on 14 November 2016.

Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon was a pilot of a Gnat detachment based at Srinagar for the air defence of the valley against Pakistani air attacks. On 14th December 1971, Srinagar Airfield was attached by a wave of six enemy Sabre aircraft. Flying Officer Sekhon was on readiness duty at the time. However, he could not take off at once because of the clouds of dust raised by another aircraft which had just taken off. By the time the runway was fit for take-off, no fewer than six enemy aircraft were overhead, nevertheless, in spite of the mortal danger of attempting to take off during an attack, and inspite of the odds against him. Flying Officer Sekhon took off and immediately engaged a pair of the attacking Sabres.

In the fight that followed, he secured hits on one aircraft and damaged another. Even though alone, Flying Officer Sekhon engaged the enemy in an unequal combat. In the fight that followed, at tree top height, he almost held his own, but was eventually overcome by sheer weight of numbers. His aircraft crashed and he was killed. In thus, sacrificing himself for the defence of Srinagar, Flying Officer Sekhon achieved his object, for the enemy aircraft fled from the scene of the battle without pressing home their attack against the town and the airfield.

The sublime heroism, supreme gallantry, flying skill and determination, above and beyond the call of duty, displayed by Flying Officer Sekhon in the face of certain death, set new heights to Air Force traditions.

Speaking on the occasion, The Commandant said it was indeed a proud moment for the Academy, which continues to instil the ethos of courage, valour and sacrifices that has been display on so many occasions by our braves in the past and the bust will be a continuous source of inspiration and motivation for all the young cadets who pass out of the portal of the academy.