Nineteen soldiers of the 4 and 9 Para, the special forces’s units which undertook the daring cross-border surgical strike across LoC, have been awarded gallantry medals including a Kirti Chakra while their commanding officers have been given Yudh Sewa Medal. Major Rohit Suri of 4 Para, who led one of the teams across the LoC targeting terrorists’ launch pads, was awarded the Kirti Chakra, second highest peacetime gallantry award, on the eve of the Republic Day.
Havildar Prem Bahadur Resmi Magar of the Gorkha Rifles got the Kirti Chakra posthumously. Col Kapil Yadav, commanding officer of 9 Para and Col Harpreet Sandhu, Commanding Officer of 4 Para, were awarded the Yudh Sewa Medal, one of India’s military decorations awarded to mark distinguished service during war time is awarded for a high degree of distinguished service in an operational content, including times of war, conflict, or hostilities and may also be awarded posthumously.
The award is the wartime equivalent of the Vishisht Seva Medal, which is a decoration for peace time distinguished service.Five personnel from the two para units also got Shaurya Chakra while 13 got Sena Medal (Gallantry).
The Army conducted surgical strikes on terrorist launchpads across the Line of Control in September last year, after a terrorist attack on an army camp in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir claimed the lives of 19 jawans.
The strikes were widely hailed by as a strong retaliation, and the Army’s new chief General Bipin Rawat has said it is prepared to use the tactic again if needed.
Those who have been awarded posthumously included Naik Gawade Pandurang Mahadev who has been given Shaurya Chakra. Lt Col Ranjit Singh Pawar, Major Krishnan Manoj Kumar, Major Amit Deswal Naik Ran Singh, Naik Vijaykumar S, Sepoy Ram Chander of DSC, Sepoy Satya Prakash Singh and Sepoy Satish of DSC along with Signalman Ajay Singh Choudhary were awarded Sena Medal (Gallantry) posthumously.
The President has approved award of 398 gallantry and other defence decorations to armed forces personnel and others on the eve of the 68th Republic Day Celebrations.
This includes two Kirti Chakras, 12 Shaurya Chakras, three Bar to Sena Medal (Gallantry), 91 Sena Medal (Gallantry), two Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry), four Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry), 29 Param Vishisht Seva Medal, five Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, two Bar to Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, 49 Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, 14 Yudh Seva Medal, four Bar to Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty), 36 Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty), eight Nao Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty), 14 Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty), four Bar to Vishisht Seva Medal and 119 Vishisht Seva Medal.
The President has also approved seven awards to Indian Coast Guard Personnel for gallantry, meritorious service and distinguished service.Three Tatrakshak Medal (Gallantry) have been awarded to Commandant Anwar Khan, Pardeep and Sandeep. One President’s Tatrakshak Medal (Distinguished Service) has been awarded to Inspector General Virender Singh Pathania.
Three Tatrakshak Medal (Meritorious Service) have been awarded to Deputy Inspector General Satyajit Krishnaji Vaidya, Deputy Inspector General Shajen Kurian and Commandant Jashbir Singh Randhaawaa.
Besides these, 44 personnel from Army and others have also been awarded ‘Mention-in-Despatches’ by the Government, which include four for ‘Operation Meghdoot’, 32 for ‘Operation Rakshak’, five for ‘Operation Rhino’, two for ‘Operation Orchid’ and one for ‘Operation Hifazat’.