Ruksana Kausar

Rukhsana Kausar was born in 1989 to Noor Hussain and Rashida Begum in Rajouri district of Jammu & Kashmir, India. One night in September 2009, when Rukhsana was 20 years old, militants armed with AK-47’s broke into the family’s home and began beating Rukhsana’s parents and her younger brother Aijaz. They demanded that Rukhsana be handed over to them. Rukhsana heard the beating which was going on and her father crying out with pain. She emerged from under the bed with an axe in her hand. With a well-delivered blow to the head, she felled the unit’s commander to the ground. The other militants opened up a barrage of automatic fire. Rukhsana dove to the ground and retrieved the AK-47 from the semi-conscious commander, grabbed a rifle from another militant and threw it to her brother. She opened fire, first putting the commander out of his miseries, then turning her attenditon to the other miscreants, with her brother providing covering fire. The militants returned fire until one of them gave the order “bhago, mia, bhago” (run, brothers, run). The family then made their way to the police outpost with Aijaz firing bursts of automatic fire along the way to make sure the retreating militants did not follow them. Until that night, Rukhsana had never held a weapon. She said the bully boys would have had to kill her first before harming her family. Ms. Kausar received India’s National Bravery Award as well as the Rani Jhansi Bravery Award. She now lives in Delhi and works as a constable. She has two daughters of her own.

Rishi Singh