Gallantry Awards presented to bravehearts

ST CORRESPONDENT
Wednesday, 20 February 2019

In keeping with the tradition of honouring its braves, the Army organises Investiture Ceremony at regional commands in nominated locations evey year. The Southern Command Investiture Ceremony was organised on Tuesday at AFMC, in Wanowrie.

PUNE: Lt Gen SK Saini, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command, felicitated eight Officers, one Junior Commissioned Officer and ten other ranks with Sena Medal (Gallantry) including two posthumous awards which were collected by next of kin. 

In keeping with the tradition of honouring its braves, the Army organises Investiture Ceremony at regional commands in nominated locations evey year. The Southern Command Investiture Ceremony was organised on Tuesday at AFMC, in Wanowrie.

As a special gesture, the army had invited selected children and staff from schools to witness the event.

Lt Col Rakesh Tokas from 1 Parachute Battalion (Special Forces) was the leading Assault Team Commander tasked to neutralise terrorists in family quarters at Sunjuwan (Jammu). His team rescued an injured child. The officer noticed a terrorist on the top floor. He booby trapped the staircase and spotting the fidayeen behind a bed, fired two shots at close range and neutralised the terrorist.

Major James Jacob from 8 Rashtriya Rifles was deployed along the LoC in November 2017. On inputs about terrorist movement, he moved with his party across the Anti Infiltration Obstacle System. The terrorists started firing indiscriminately. Major Jacob engaged the two terrorists and personally shot dead one of them.

Major Avijit Singh from 6 Mahar was leading the QRT tasked to flush out terrorists in residential block number 91, of Sunjuwan (Jammu). During exchange of fire, the officer was injured. Yet he exhibited gallantry and selfless devotion in neutralising the terrorists.

Maj Sandeep Thapa from 52 Rashtriya Rifles Battalion was leading a QRT when a input about presence of terrorists in village Sopur of J&K was received. He established a cordon around the mohalla alongwith Special Operations Group. The officer unmindful of own safety and undeterred by intense terrorist fire, crawled to a flank, lobbed a grenade and in close quarter battle eliminated one terrorist.

Major Kamal Kumar Chhetri from 8 Rashtriya Rifles Battalion / Army Services Corps was deployed along the LOC. In September 2017 an operation was launched to eliminate the terrorists trying to carry out a fidayeen attack on a gun area. Three terrorists were neutralised. The fourth was spotted hiding in a house next to the Masjid. He tried to break the cordon and ran towards the Masjid. The officer with accurate fire, activated the explosive tied to the body of terrorist and killed him on the spot.

Major Naveen Siger from 4 Parachute Battalion (Special Forces) was the mission leader of a squad tasked to eliminate terrorists in Bugina Sector of Kupwara district. On July 17, Maj Naveen Siger and his team observed five terrorists in a heavy vehicle. He opened fire and eliminated the terrorist who was driving the vehicle, which led the vehicle to topple and fall into the Kishan Ganga (Indus) River. The other terrorist was able to exit the vehicle before it fell into the river and he started firing towards the location where his buddy had taken up a firing position. Realising grave danger to his comrade’s life, the officer charged, unmindful of his own safety and came directly in contact with two terrorists in the foliage. He killed one terrorist while the other was killed by sniper fire from his team.

In June 2017, Major Devinder Pal Singh, who was a company Commander with 1 Rashtriya Rifles Battalion received input regarding presence of three Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists in Anantnag district of J&K. He cordoned the target to achieve complete surprise. In the ensuing fire fight the officer eliminated the dreaded terrorist.

Captain Manish Kumar Singh from 2 Parachute Battalion (Special Forces) was part of the team tasked to clear a building at Budgam district of J&K, where two fidayeen terrorists were hiding after attacking a CRPF convoy. While clearing the top floor of the 450-room complex his squad came under heavy fire from a terrorist. Unmindful of the danger, the officer crawled and moved forward while lobbying a grenade. This resulted in the terrorist coming out of his cover. As soon as the terrorist was sighted, with accurate fire, in close quarters, the officer neutralised the A+ category terrorist called Abu Talha. His bravery motivated his team to move ahead and neutralise the other terrorist present in the complex.

On June 15, 2017, Naib Subedar Rongsen Sashi of 2 Parachute Battalion (Special Forces) was part of the troops tasked to clear terrorists in a target house at Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir. The target house was brought down by IEDs and he and his team went inside the target house for room clearing. While doing so, he came under heavy fire. Reacting promptly to the firing, with accurate fire he brought down and neutralised the terrorist, displaying highest standard of marksmanship.

Havildar Karambhalkar Rajaram Tukaram of 41 Rashtriya Rifles Battalion was a Team Commander in a cordon and search operations at Kupwara district of J&K. During the firefight the Non Commissioned Officer, brought down precise fire on terrorists effectively pinning them down. An intense fire was brought down by terrorists on a police vehicle, which resulted in a gun shot wound to a police personnel and two children. Hav Karambhalkar sensing grave danger to own troops and unmindful of own safety, crawled close to the house and shot dead the terrorist.

In August 2017, Hav Gagandeep Singh of 52 Rashtriya Rifles Battalion was part of a cordon and search operation in Baramulla district of J&K. While conducting the search operation, own troops came under intense fire, following which the exact location of terrorists was identified. During the fire fight, Hav Gagandeep Singh received a gunshot wound on his left forearm. Yet, he crawled towards the terrorists. The terrorist charged towards him. The soldier killed the terrorist in close quarter battle.

Hav Lourdhu Raju Reddy Mosu of 50 Rashtriya Rifles Battalion was part of a cordon when he noticed a terrorist trying to escape in Budgam district. He intercepted the terrorist using limited cover available. The terrorist brought down heavy fire on the soldier. However, Hav Raju neutralised the terrorist on the spot.

Naik Jadhav Sandip Sarjerao of 15 Maratha Light Infantry Battalion was part of an Area Domination Patrol at Poonch district. Naik Jadhav sustained multiple splinter injuries and realised that his party had been ambushed. He fired his weapon towards the direction of enemy fire. On spotting an intruder, he charged onto the intruder and killed him instantly. While doing so, he got hit by an enemy bullet and fell unconscious. This forced the enemy to retreat and flee, eliminating the danger to rest of the party.

Naik Surjeet Singh of 9 Parachute Battalion (Special Forces) was part of the troop deployed opposite Mendhar Battalion along the LoC to prevent enemy attacks. In January 2018, movement of 11 heavily armed infiltrators was observed. The hostiles opened indiscriminate fire. During the ensuing firefight, Naik Surjeet observed two fleeing hostiles. Unmindful of his personal safety, he chased them and shot one dead at close quarters while grievously wounding another intruder.

Naik Virender Singh of 2 Parachute Battalion (Special Forces) was the Assault Squad Commander during operation Bamun at Shopian district. Naik Virender displaying excellent tracking skills, tracked the blood stains and foot marks of the injured to the nearby apple orchard. During a search, he detected the terrorist’s movement behind a tree. He ordered his squad to lay close cordon of the area. Suddenly the trapped terrorist opened heavy automatic fire on Naik Virender Singh’s squad. Naik Virender brought accurate fire on the terrorist, neutralizing him.

Lance Naik Vipin Kumar of 50 Rashtriya Rifles was part of Kakapore Company Operating Base during Operation Kakapore III in Pulwama district. On establishing contact with a terrorist Lance Naik Vipin and his company officer rushed to the target house. Despite attracting heavy fire from two terrorists on the first floor, he set the house on fire by lobbying Molotov cocktails. The terrorists jumped out of the house to escape, firing indiscriminately. Lance Naik Kumar brought down effective retaliatory fire and neutralised one terrorist.

Lance Naik Rajpati Shahni of 2 Parachute Battalion (Special Forces) was part of the troop tasked to clear terrorists in a target house in village Chadoora at Budgam district of J&K. Lance Naik Rajpati Shahni’s squad was tasked to move close to the target house and place a charge. He led his squad and covered them with the shield. After trapping the terrorist, he placed himself to cover the move of his squad. The terrorist fired at his squad resulting him getting hit in his thighs. Yet he moved forward to protect his squad members and simultaneously fired a lethal burst on the terrorist, eliminating him.

Sepoy Savan Mane of 15 Maratha Light Infantry Battalion was part of Area Domination patrol moving from post Chhabila to Gurung at Poonch district. The party encountered heavy fire from close range. Sepoy Mane sustained two bullet injuries on his left shoulder. Realising that the party was trapped in an ambush he quickly jumped, took cover and started firing at the ambush. Sepoy Mane realised he was bleeding profusely and fast losing consciousness. He decided to move out of his cover and lobbed grenades which created utter chaos among the armed intruders, who were taken aback. This forced the intruders to flee while firing Under Barrel Grenade Launcher at Sepoy Mane. As a result, Sepoy Mane sustained multiple injuries and fell unconscious but not before evicting a well-entrenched intruder.

Rifleman Krishna Chandra Jakhmola of 10 Garwhal Rifles was part of the Company QRT and part of company intelligence collection team in Budgam district of J&K. On November 17, on receipt of information about presence of four terrorists in the village, Rifleman Krishna Chandra Jakhmola was the leading scout of the team that laid the cordon around the target house. During the firefight, he moved close to the house, distracting the terrorists who started firing heavily on them. This helped the Rocket Launcher and Multi Grenade Launcher detachments to fire on the target house with precision. Rifleman Krishna Chandra Jakhmola came under heavy fire but took cover while neutralizing one local terrorist. 

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