New Delhi: In a rare instance of its kind, members of the police and central armed police forces (CAPFs) have won more ‘Chakra’ gallantry awards than the three arms of the military put together.
President Ram Nath Kovind, the supreme commander of the armed forces, Friday approved 84 awards and decorations, including one Kirti Chakra, nine Shaurya Chakras, five additions of a bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 60 Sena Medals (Gallantry), four Nau Sena Medals (Gallantry) and five Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry).
No awards have yet been given out for the ongoing India-China stand-off in Ladakh, even though the Indo-Tibetan Border Police had recommended 21 personnel for staving off Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control.
Sources in the defence and security establishment said the crisis was still on, and that recommendations have been made. These recommendations, including those who fought in the Galwan Valley clash in June, are set to be considered for the next round of awards, ahead of Republic Day 2021.
The lone Kirti Chakra — the second highest peacetime gallantry decoration — has gone to head constable Abdul Rashid Kalas of the Jammu and Kashmir Police. Kalas was awarded for an anti-terror operation in Pinglan area of Pulwama on 18 February last year.
Five of the nine Shaurya Chakras, the next highest honour, have gone to personnel belonging to forces under the Ministry of Home Affairs, including four to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). Sources in the CISF said the four personnel were honoured for fighting off two fire-related incidents.
Another Shaurya Chakra was awarded to Amit Kumar from the Jammu and Kashmir cadre of the IPS, who was DIG of the South Kashmir Range last year when he was grievously injured in an encounter.
Three Army personnel — Havildar Alok Kumar Dubey of the Rajput Regiment on Deputation to 44 Rashtriya Rifles, Major Anil Urs of the Maratha Light Infantry, and Lt Col. Krishan Singh Rawat of Para (Special Forces) — and Wing Commander Vishak Nair of the Indian Air Force were also awarded the Shaurya Chakra.
The President also approved 19 Mention-in-Despatches to Army personnel for their significant contributions in different military operations, including eight posthumously.
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