Ashok Chakra for slain Major

Ashok Chakra for slain Major

Major Mukund Vardarajan, a young Army officer who died in an anti-terror operation in Jammu and Kashmir in April, will be posthumously honoured with the Ashok Chakra, the nation's highest peacetime gallantry award.

His friend Sepoy Vikram Singh is one of the 12 selected candidates for Shaurya Chakra, the second highest peacetime gallantry award. Other awardees include two Navy officers who perished in the burning chambers of the submarine INS Sindhuratna in the line of duty and a young airforce pilot for his daring act in the Siachen glacier.

Major Vardarajan of 44 Rashtriya Rifles and Vikram Singh were killed in an operation in Shopian on April 25 but not before they gunned down three terrorists. While Vikram died on the spot, the Major succumbed to his injuries in Srinagar later.

Vardarajan , from Tambaram, was commissioned into 22 Rajput Regiment in 2006 after passing out from the Officers Training Academy, Chennai.

The other Army officers selected for Shaurya Chakra are Maj Abhishek Kumar (Punjab regiment), Maj Manohar Singh Bhati (Parachute regiment), Maj Satnam Singh (Corps of Engineers) and Maj Vishal Singh Yadav (Rajputa Rifles).

Besides Vikram, another soldier Subeder Prakash Chand (Kumaon), too, will receive the Shaurya Chakra posthumously. The list includes Naik Ansaigra Basumatary (Assam), Lance Naik Bharat Kumar Chhetri and Rifleman Prem Bahadur Roka Magar (both from Gorkha Rifles).

Navy officers Lt Cdr Manoranjan Kumar and Lt Cdr Kapish Singh Muwal were part of the 94 member crew of the ill-fated INS Sindhuratna where fire broke out in the high seas in February. They fought the fire, limited the damage and gave vital information to the command centre before choking to death.

The two Navy officers, who were last seen fighting the fire, will be honoured with Shaurya Chakra.Indian Air Force helicopter pilot Wing Commander Huvey Upadhyaya will receive the Shaurya Chakra owing to the courage and presence of mind he showed while rescuing two Army pilots in Siachen in March.

Flying an advanced light weight helicopter, Upadhyaya first found the wreckage of the Army chopper at an altitude of 17,600 ft and subsequently touched down and took off within a few minutes rescuing the two Army pilots from an area which is under enemy watch.

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