A CRPF driver who saved the lives of 12 of his colleagues, including his commander, in the Chakarbandha forests of Bihar during an anti-Naxal operation is one of the recipients of the gallantry medal awarded this Independence Day.
Head Constable and driver Sadanand Yadav of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was honoured for his brave act on June 10, 2012, when a special unit of the force was ambushed by Maoists in the forests in Gaya district.
Yadav, sensing trouble, used his mine-protected vehicle to obstruct heavy firing by the Naxalites. His daredevilry and driving skills allowed the CRPF and state police personnel time to reorganise even as he rescued two injured troopers and 10 others in his armoured four-wheeler under a heavy volley of fire.
The citation states that Yadav did this act "without any care for his life" and with a sense of securing his comrades at any cost.
Getting away from the ambush, the vehicle was hit by landmine blasts and flung 10-feet off the ground, but Yadav manoeuvred it cleverly as it landed and got all the men evacuated from the spot.
The encounter with the rebels saw two Naxals being killed while a cache of ammunition was also seized from the spot.
Five other members of the squad, which fought steadfastly in the same operation, also received the Police Medal for Gallantry (PMG) along with Yadav.