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144 military, paramilitary personnel awarded gallantry awards

The total 144 gallantry awards include one Ashok Chakra, the country' highest peacetime military awards, awarded posthumously to J&K Police ASI Babu Ram.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
August 15, 2021 2:55:43 am
Of 15 Shaurya Chakras, six have gone to the Army. (Photo: Twitter@Indian Army)

More than 140 personnel of the armed forces and the paramilitary forces were awarded gallantry awards by President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday, on the eve of Independence Day.

The total 144 gallantry awards include one Ashok Chakra, the country’ highest peacetime military awards, awarded posthumously to J&K Police ASI Babu Ram.

J&K Police Constable, Altaf Hussain Bhat, was awarded the Kirti Chakra, also posthumously.

The Defence Ministry mentioned in a statement that 15 Shaurya Chakras, four Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 116 Sena Medals (Gallantry), five Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry), and two Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry) were awarded.

“The President has also approved 28 Mention-in-Despatches to the Army personnel for their significant contributions in different military operations, which include three posthumous for ‘Operation Rakshak’ and ‘Operation Snow Leopard’,” the ministry stated.

Of 15 Shaurya Chakras, six have gone to the Army, including one posthumous; three to CRPF; two to Odisha Police, both posthumously; two to the Air Force; and one each to the Navy and J&K Police (posthumous).

All of the Army’s Shaurya Chakras were awarded for operations of intercepting, or killing militants in J&K. For the Air Force, Shaurya Chakras were given to pilots who displayed exceptional expertise, and skill to manoeuvre their aircraft after they had developed some issues, and regaining control of the aircraft, and preventing major disasters.

One of the Vayu Sena medals was awarded to Squadron Leader Deepak Mohanan who is on deputation with the Coast Guard since 2017. His citation mentioned that as captain of a Chetak helicopter, Mohanan “displayed extraordinary courage and professional skills of a very high order wherein he carried out damage assessment of fire and explosion on-board MT Diamond, a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) off the east coast of Sri Lanka, carrying 3.40 lakh metric tonnes of crude oil”.

It stated, “During the seven days operation that followed, he undertook 12 sorties clocking 14:25 hrs, which required frequent deck landings on-board various class of Indian Coast Guard ships, and directed the ships in efficient firefighting and for aerial survey of the oil spill. All these operations were over sea in marginal conditions, poor visibility and strong gusty winds in excess of 30 knots, under dangerous sea state.”

It mentioned that his “incredible and spirited response by the officer contributed towards the huge fire being doused and prevented the possible threat of explosion and oil spill which brought singular credit to Indian Coast Guard in international waters”.

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