Major Mukund Varadarajan, who lost his life fighting terrorists in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, has been named for the Ashok Chakra — the nation’s highest peace-time gallantry award, while Lt Cdr Manoranjan Kumar and Lt Cdr Kapish Singh Muwal (both posthumously) and Wg Cdr Huvey Upadhyaya were honoured with Shaurya Chakra for their sacrifice and courage.
According to the citation, Major Varadarajan, a company commander, swiftly deployed troops and evacuated civilians from a house occupied by terrorists. The terrorists had targeted polling booths a day earlier. The officer who, along with his men, neutralised the terrorists “avenged the killing of the election officials within 24 hours and restored faith of public in democracy and the Indian Army”, the award citation read.
Naval officers Lt Cdr Manoranjan Kumar and Lt Cdr Kapish Singh Muwal, who died onboard the ill-fated INS Sindhuratna on February 26 while saving 94 crew members, disregarding their own safety, have been considered for Shaurya Chakra.
“The officers laid down their life, in keeping with their responsibility as the Compartment officer and Electrical officer, safety of the submarine and personnel above their own. Their singular act of courage and bravery resulted in the damage being contained, casualties being minimised and extensive structural damage to the submarine being averted. Their valor and dedication is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Navy and ethos of the officer corp. Both the officers have been awarded the Shaurya Chakra (Posthumous),” the award citation said.
IAF officer Wg Cdr Huvey Upadhyaya, who saved the lives of army personnel onboard a crashed helicopter in Siachen, has been also been named for the gallantry award for displaying “utmost courage and exceptional flying skills”.
CRPF bags 71 of 919 Police Medals this year
NEW DELHI: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has been awarded the maximum number of gallantry medals this year, bagging 71 of the 919 medals to be given to police personnel from central and state security forces on Independence Day.
The medal tally of CRPF was followed by Maharashtra (23) and Orissa police (19).
While President’s Police Medals for Gallantry (PPMGs) have been awarded to 15 personnel, Police Medals for Gallantry (PMGs) were given to 163 police personnel. President’s Police Medals for distinguished service went to 82 personnel and Police Medals for meritorious service to 659 personnel, a Home Ministry statement said. Beside these, 37 personnel have been awarded the President’s Correctional Service Medals for distinguished service.
“Of the 71 medals awarded to CRPF, 52 were for acts of valour displayed while countering Left Wing Extremists and 17 for men fighting insurgency in the Northeast,” said Zulfiquar Hasan, IG (CRPF).
The shop had stored over 20 drums of kerosene that fuelled the blaze and it quickly spread through the entire building.