ITBP commandos to be awarded for countering Herat attack

ITBP commandos to be awarded for countering Herat attack

The names of five Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) commandos, who fought the terrorists during an attack on the Indian consulate in Afghanistan’s Herat province last month, have been recommended for the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry.

The ITBP has forwarded a proposal to the Ministry of Home Affairs to include their names in the awardees list, sources said on Friday.

The five commandos recommended for the coveted award include Inspector Manjit Singh (Haryana) and Constables Rakesh Kumar (Uttar Pradesh) and Praveen Kumar (Uttarakhand).

“These five commandos were at the forefront in tackling the attack on the Consulate on May 23. We have written to the Home Ministry to confer them the Gallantry medal,” a senior ITBP official said.Four terrorists, who Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai claimed belonged to the Lashkar-e-Toiba, planned to take those in the Consulate hostage. 

However, they were intercepted by ITBP commandos and Afghan security personnel and killed in a fierce shootout.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday praised the commandos and said, “I salute my jawans who are doing outstanding work.”

The ITBP has also submitted a report to the government to consider the further enhancement of the security set up in Afghanistan.

ITBP Director General Subhas Goswami had visited Afghanistan for an on-the-spot assessment after the attack. Additionally, forces deployed at the Indian Embassy in Kabul and consulates in Jalalabad, Mazar-e-Sharif, Khandhar and Herat were alerted.

The force renders perimeter security and access control duties at Indian installations. They are trained to undertake special rescue and VIP security duties.

It had deployed an additional 79 commandos in Afghanistan during the past six months in addition to the 219 commandos already deployed there. Twenty-three personnel were deployed at the Herat facility.

A recent security analysis had shown that Indian assets in Afghanistan were facing threats not only from the al Qaeda and Haqqani network, but also from smaller militant groups based in Pakistan.

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