New Delhi: For playing a key role in eliminating nine top Naxal leaders, Sub Inspector KLVSSHNV Prasad Babu of Andhra Pradesh's counter-Maoist force was on Thursday posthumously conferred the highest peacetime gallantry award Ashok Chakra.
Three persons have been awarded the Kirti Chakra, including one Assam Police Inspector Lohit Sonowal who will get the second highest peacetime award posthumously and Navy's Commander Abhilash Timmy who is the first Indian to do solo circumnavigation of the world.
Babu was given the award for an anti-Maoist operation where he was leading an assault unit of Greyhounds (anti-naxal force of Andhra Pradesh) near Andhra Pradesh-Chhattisgarh border exhibiting extreme courage and conviction. "He was instrumental in the killing nine top-cadre Maoists before attaining martyrdom," a Defence Ministry release said.
A total of 43 gallantry awards including one Ashok Chakra, three Kirti Chakras and 10 Shaurya Chakras have been approved by the President, who is the supreme commander of the armed forces, on the occasion of the Independence Day.
Kirti Chakra has also been awarded to Major Mahesh Kumar of the Punjab Regiment (22 Rashtriya Rifles) for killing dreaded foreign and Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists in counter-terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir. Kumar, a resident of Ludhiana in Punjab, on 18 December, 2012 successfully eliminated two hardcore foreign terrorists at close range. In a similar daring action on October 21, the officer came face to face with one terrorist who was firing indiscriminately from the debris of a house.
"The officer unmindful of personal safety eliminated the dreaded LeT terrorist from close quarters. In yet another operation on April 17, 2013, the officer disarmed and nabbed a LeT divisional commander in a hand-to-hand combat," his citation read.
Ten personnel who have been awarded the Shaurya Chakra include Aircraftsmen Murali Kannan of the IAF and Junior Engineer Manish who would receive the medals posthumously.
Army personnel who will receive the award include Majors Swagat Kumar Das, Amarjeet Singh, Mohan Chandra along with Captain Rampreet Singh and Naik Balwinder Singh. Naik Balwinder Singh, a resident of Ludhiana, will receive the award for eliminating terrorists in operations in Sopore area of Jammu and Kashmir.
Balwinder shot dead two dreaded terrorists of LeT in close combat after they were trying to escape from an encounter on December 18, 2012.
Major Sanjeev Kumar of 39 Assam Rifles was awarded the Shaurya Chakra for displaying dogged determination and exceptional courage under heavy hostile fire which resulted in elimination of two hardcore terrorists in Churachandpur (Manipur).
A resident of Sirmour in Himachal Pradesh, Kumar, while on an ambush, spotted torch lights in the far distance. "In a bold tactical move, the intruders were allowed to come into own area and on reaching the ambush site were challenged by Maj Kumar. The officer pursued the intruders and shot down two of them with precision fire from close quarters," his citation read.
List of Gallantry awardees on Independence Day:
1) KLVSSHNV Prasad Babu, Sub-Inspector, Andhra Pradesh Police.
1. Major Mahesh Kumar, Sena Medal, Punjab Regiment
2. Lt CDR Abhilash Tomy, Navy Inspector Lohit Sonowal, Assam government
1. Major Sanjeev Kumar, Armoured Corps
2. Major Swagat Kumar Das, 9th Battalion, Sikh Light Infantry
3. Major Amarjeet Singh, Mechanized Infantry
4. Major Mohan Chandra, 4th Battalion, the Kumaon Regiment
5. Captain Rampreet Singh, the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles
6. Naik Balwinder Singh, Punjab Regiment
7. Aadesh Kumar sea i cd iii (Navy)
8. Aircraftsman Murali Kannan (posthumous)
9. Je (civil) Manish (Posthumous), BRO
10. PR Mishra, Dy Commandant, Central Reserve Police Force
Bar to Sena Medal (gallantry)
1. Major Anand Kumar, Sena Medal Dogra Regiment
2. Lance Havildar L Kamini Singha, 10th Battalion, the Assam rifles
1. Colonel Sanjay Vadhera, 204th Army Aviation Squadron
2. Major Aditya Kumar, 41st Battalion the Assam Rifles
3. Major Samir Bharti, 12th Battalion the Assam Regiment
4. Major Piyush Kumar Verma, 22nd Battalion Rashtriya Rifles
5. Major Tanmoy Rath, 55th Battalion the Rashtriya Rifles
6. Major Marathe Shashikant Bansilal, Jat Regiment
7. Major Vijit Kumar, Punjab Regiment
8. Captain Pawan Kumar Jaiswal, 13th Battalion, Sikh Regiment
9. Captain Singam Jeevan Singh, 33rd Battalion, the Assam Rifles
10. Captain Anshul Bisht, 18th Battalion, the Dogra Regiment
11. Lieutenant Girish Bhardwaj, Army Ordnance Corps
12. Subedar Mahendra Singh, 9th Battalion, Parachute Regiment (special forces)
13. Havildar Ashwani Kumar, 19th Battalion, the Dogra Regiment
14. Havildar Chhankar Singh, 18th Battalion, the Dogra Regiment
15. Naik Surendra Kumar Bhari, 15th Battalion, the Jat Regiment
16. Naik Yashwant Singh, 7th Battalion, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles
17. Lance Naik Yamgar Vijay Dhondiram, 9th Battalion, the Maratha Light Infantry
18. Sepoy Sanjeev Kumar, 19th Battalion, the Dogra Regiment
19. Rifleman Farooq Ahmed Bajran, 162nd Infantry Battalion (ta) Jammu and kashmir Light Infantry, 24th Battalion, the Rashtriya Rifles
20. Rifleman Rajeev Thakur, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles
21. Rifleman Neeraj Kumar Solanki, 9th Battalion, the Rashtriya Rifles
Nao Sena Medal (gallantry)
1. Lt Shailesh Tyagi