Salutes to Brave Hearts

via HK with Media Inputs published on January 25, 2010

One Ashok Chakra, six Kirti Chakras and 26 Shaurya Chakras, the top three awards for gallantry during peacetime, were among the 442 awards for armed forces and security personnel announced on Monday on the eve of Republic Day.

President has awarded Ashok Chakra to Havildar Rajesh Kumar of 11th Battalion, The Rajputana Rifles (Posthumous) on the eve of Republic Day. She will also confer Ashok Chakra to Major Mohit Sharma (posthumous) and Major D Sreeram Kumar. These two were awarded Ashok Chakra on the eve of Independence Day 2009.

Havildar Rajesh Kumar

On 01 August 2009, a Section of Ghatak team searching the dense forest in Kupwara district of Jammu & Kashmir was subject to intense and indiscriminate firing by terrorists. Havildar Rajesh Kumar, who was leading the Section, returned the fire and scrambled into the undergrowth to outflank the terrorist. With dogged determination he closed-in around the flank and killed the terrorist. While continuing the search, the team was again engaged by two terrorists positioned upslope.

Realizing the danger to the lives of his teammates, Havildar Rajesh Kumar moved to outflank one of the terrorists through a veritable hail of bullets. While closing-in, he sustained gun-shot wounds in the abdomen. Disregarding gun-shot wounds, he shot and killed the second terrorist. Bleeding profusely, he moved to outflank the third terrorist from his blind side and engaged him in fierce hand to hand combat killing the terrorist with the burst of fire, before succumbing to his injuries.

Havildar Rajesh Kumar showed unparalleled feat of most conspicuous gallantry, fortitude and the rare spirit of self sacrifice in fighting the terrorists.

Major Mohit Sharma

Was killed in a gun battle while fighting militants during an anti-terrorist operation with three other soldiers in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir in March last year.

A product of Delhi Public School Ghaziabad, Mohit had earlier been awarded the Chief of Army Staff’s commendation card for “exemplary” counter-terrorism duties during Operation Rakshak, which was followed by a Sena Medal for gallantry after a daring “covert operation” in 2005.

The Ashoka Chakra has come for the Kupwara encounter during which Mohit and his men came under heavy volume of fire by an infiltrating terrorist group but unmindful of his safety, he first rescued two of his comrades and then killed two of the terrorists.

“Despite being grievously wounded with multiple gunshot wounds, Mohit once again charged at the terrorists and killed two more at close range. He made the supreme sacrifice in the finest traditions of his `paltan’ (battalion) and country,” said an officer.

Major D Shree Kumar

Major of Manipur-based 39 Assam Rifles has been given the award for gallantry displayed in ‘Operation Hifazat’ in Manipur, an official statement said.

He will receive the Ashok Chakra for creating an effective and vibrant intelligence network, delivering hard blows to terrorist activities and making it difficult for them to operate in his area during the operation, the statement said.

Major Kumar lead a series of operations under ‘Operation Hifazat’ in Manipur in which 12 terrorists were eliminated and another 23 arrested early last year.



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