Over 350 gallantry awards given away to armed forces

Major Anup Joseph Manjali is the sole recipient of Kirti Chakra – the nation’s second highest peace time gallantry award – for his daring act that led to killing of three terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir in September last.

In addition, 11 Shaurya Chakra were awarded – 10 to Army and one to Navy. As many as 359 gallantry medals and decorations were awarded including 56 Sena Medal, four Nausena medal and three Vayu Sena medal on the eve of the 64th Republic Day

Four Shaurya Chakras are awarded posthumously. But for the second consecutive time, there was no recipient for Ashok Chakra – nation’s highest peace time gallantry award.

The Kirti Chakra awardee, Major Manjali from 24 Rashtriya Rifle (Bihar regiment) has been selected for the decoration for a counter-insurgency operation he led in Kangan, north of Srinagar, en route to Sonemarg.

Five hardcore foreign terrorists were hiding in a temporary hut in dense forest when an Army team led by Manjali closed in on the gang. At first light, the officer crawled up to the entrance of the hut and lobbed a hand grenade to flush out the terrorists resulting in elimination of one terrorist on the spot.

Other terrorists ran towards the forest firing indiscriminately. In the close quarter battle that followed, he shot dead two more dreaded terrorists from a distance of 20 metres.

Two posthumous Shaurya Chakra awardees — Naik Rajeshver Singh and Naik Anil Kumar — died fighting the enemy near the border in Kupwara districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Captain A Rahul Ramesh died while laying a temporary bridge on Dharasu Gangotri road in Uttarkhand following a cloud burst and Naik Krishan Kumar laid down his life fighting militants in war-torn Congo as a part of the UN force from India.

Other Shaurya Chakra awardees from the Army are: Havilder Vir Singh, Major Sandeep Kumar, Maj Manish Punj, Capt Dinesh Kumar, Lt Manish Singh and Subeder Pradeep Beck. The lone recipient from the Navy is Lt Cdr Inderjeet Singh.

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