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Among R-Day awardees: CRPF man who tried to stop Pulwama bomber; Hathras probe officer

While Delhi ranks second in the list of states with 17 medals, Maharashtra is a close third with 13.

Written by Deeptiman Tiwary | New Delhi |
January 26, 2021 2:59:42 am
(Clockwise from top left) ITBP IG Deepam Seth, CRPF’s ASI Mohan Lal, CBI Joint Directors Sampat Meena and Vineet Vinayak

The ITBP IG negotiating with Chinese PLA in Ladakh, a CRPF ASI who chased and fired at the bomb-laden car that killed 40 security personnel in the 2019 Pulwama attack, and two CBI officers who supervised probes into the Hathras gangrape-and-murder and the Jammu and Kashmir Roshni Act cases are among more than 900 awardees of gallantry and service medal awards this Republic Day.

The J&K Police among state police forces and the CRPF among central armed police forces (CAPFs) have once again cornered the lion’s share of gallantry medals. Of the 205 Police Medals for Gallantry (PMG) this year, J&K has bagged 52, while CRPF has been conferred 68. BSF has bagged 20 such medals.

While Delhi ranks second in the list of states with 17 medals, Maharashtra is a close third with 13.

ITBP IG Deepam Seth, who heads the force’s North West Frontier, is among the 89 recipients of the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service. An IPS officer of the Uttarakhand cadre, Seth has been part of all Corps Commander level meetings held between Indian and Chinese forces since June last year in Ladakh as a representative of the Ministry of Home Affairs — the last Corps Commander level talks to ease the situation in Eastern Ladakh were held on Sunday. He also led the force in the rescue of Army soldiers during the Galwan clash in June last year, and was also part of operations when Indian forces made a pre-emptive move on the South Bank of Pangong Tso in August-September, 2020 and took certain advantageous positions at Rezang La.

Only two President’s Police Medal for Gallantry (PPMG) have been conferred this year, with one awarded to Jharkhand Police ASI Banua Oraon for an anti-Maoist operation in 2018 and the other to CRPF’s ASI Mohan Lal for his attempt to prevent the 2019 Pulwama attack. Both died while performing their duties.

According to CRPF, On February 14, 2019, when the attack took place, ASI Mohan Lal of the 110 bttn was the picket commander of the road opening party at Lethpora in Pulwama on the Jammu–Srinagar National Highway. At about 3.10 pm, Lal noticed a car running alongside the CRPF convoy passing through the area and trying to enter between the convoy vehicles.

“Lal sensed something suspicious and rushed to stop the suspicious vehicle. Lal signalled and chased the car to stop, but could not match the car’s speed. Ultimately, finding no other option, he fired towards the suspicious car to stop, but the car rammed into a nearby running CRPF bus, and a huge blast took place,” Lal’s citation read.

The blast killed 40 CRPF personnel, including Lal.

CBI Joint Directors Sampat Meena and Vineet Vinayak are among six officers from the agency who have been awarded Distinguished Service medals.

Heading the Lucknow branch of the CBI, Meena supervised investigations into the Hathras case where a Dalit woman was allegedly gangraped and murdered by upper caste men last year. Meena’s team recently filed a chargesheet against the accused. She is also said to have supervised investigations into the rape case against former BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar for some time.

Vineet Vinayak, who is currently heading the Chandigarh unit of the CBI, has supervised investigations into the alleged Roshni land scam in Jammu and Kashmir. The J&K administration has alleged that top influential political families in Kashmir, including that of Farooq Abdullah and several top PDP leaders, have encroached on government land.

As many as 24 other officers of the agency have been conferred meritorious service medals.

Apart from this, 73 personnel from fire services have been awarded Fire Service Medals.

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