No Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra

No Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra

In what may be a reflection of peaceful border situation, the three armed forces could not identify a single candidate in their ranks to award Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra—the nation’s highest and second-highest peacetime gallantry awards respectively.

The Defence Ministry on Tuesday announced 62 gallantry awards to armed forces personnel and members of paramilitary forces. They include: 15 Shaurya Chakras, one Bar to Sena Medal, two Sena Medal, three Nao Sena Medal (gallantry in Navy) and one Vayu Sena model (Air Force).

Nobody was selected for Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra among India’s million plus armed forces, which defence officers say, is an “unusual and rare” occasion. The Shaurya Chakra awardees include: 10 Army personnel mostly involved in operations in the Jammu and Kashmir and North East; three Indian Air Force personnel and two officials from Central Reserve Police Forces’ CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) squad that killed Maoist leader, Kishenji, in West Bengal in 2011.

Addressing the soldiers on the eve of the 66th Republic Day, Defence Minister, A K Antony, appealed to them to work with all the honesty, fairness and transparency in their day-to-day work.  “Corruption is a serious challenge facing our nation and our armed forces are no exception to the rule. Corruption not only  affects the morale of the personnel, but also has many other implications,” Antony said.

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