The award will be named after Gunjan Sharma, a Class 8 student who recently offered herself as a hostage to a gunman to save 10 other children of her school, Gogoi said.

The state government will formally honour the girl on January 1. The government earlier announced an award of Rs 2 lakh for Gunjan's courageous act.

"We all agree that she (Gunjan Sharma) had done a brave job and it is an exemplary act. We have decided to institute a state bravery award from this year for brave children of the state," Gogoi told the media.

"We are naming the award after Gunjan Sharma and hope that her act of sacrifice will encourage others and that she would be an example for others," the chief minister said.

On December 4, a man hijacked a school van with 11 children at Nazira in Sivasagar district.

Although he abandoned the vehicle later, he wanted to take somebody hostage for his safety.

Gunjan offered herself as a hostage and thus secured the release of 10 other minor students. The police later rescued her from near a tea estate along the Assam-Nagaland border.

"We also wanted to recommend her name for the National Bravery Award. However, the last date for sending the recommendation this year has already passed. We are going to institute the state bravery award in her name," Gogoi said.

(Agencies)

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