Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gallantry Award Winners-2012

The 63rd Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath will commence with the Nation’s highest peacetime Gallantry award, ‘Ashok Chakra’ being conferred posthumously to Lieutenant Navdeep Singh of the Indian Army by the Honourable President, Smt Pratibha Devisingh Patil, on behalf of a grateful Nation.

Lieutenant Navdeep Singh, unhesitatingly sacrificed his young life in the service of the Nation, on 20th August 2011, in a fierce anti-infiltration operations on the Line of Control, in the remote Gurez Sector of North Kashmir.

Lieutenant Navdeep, a third generation soldier and an alumnus of the Officers Training Academy, Chennai, was commissioned on 19th March 2011. A born leader, Navdeep’s intrinsic talent and raw fighting spirit soon shone through with his Battalion entrusting him with the coveted leadership of its crack Commando Platoon, which he trained and honed into a superbly fit fighting unit. Raring to go and seeking challenges at every step, Navdeep was deployed with his crack team to destroy infiltration attempts by hardcore terrorists from across the Line of Control.

On the fateful night of 19th August 2011, Lieutenant Navdeep Singh and his Commando Platoon were deployed in the Kanzalwan Sub Sector in response to intelligence inputs about a desperate bid by a large group of highly trained terrorists, fully equipped and armed to the teeth with deadly weapons. Leading from the front and demonstrating the highest standards of tactical acumen, field craft and fire control, this brave heart quickly sited his ambush, correctly appreciating the path that the terrorists would adopt. In a display of sheer unbridled courage coupled with steely grit, Navdeep allowed the unsuspecting terrorists to walk into his trap. Springing his ambush at the last moment, Navdeep singlehandedly engaged and eliminated three hardcore terrorists from close range. Despite being hit and severely injured in the violent return fire, Navdeep, continued to control the encounter, marshalling his resources with cool presence of mind. Living upto the highest military ideals, despite being grievously injured, he saved the life of his buddy while gunning down a fourth terrorist, before eventually succumbing to his injuries. His gallant action resulted in his team eliminating twelve hardcore terrorists in one of the fiercest encounters on the Line of Control, dealing a crippling body blow to the terrorist groups.

The Nation and the Armed Forces fraternity stands as one to salute this young Lion, as his outstanding deed of courage is proudly acknowledged. Honorary Captain (Retired) Joginder Singh, his proud father will receive the ASHOK CHAKRA, on Late Lieutenant Navdeep’s behalf, with fierce pride and aplomb, representing his entire family. An accomplished veteran Bengal Sapper with distinguished service following in the footsteps of Navdeep’s grandfather who served in 8 SIKH, Honorary Captain (Retired) Joginder Singh, will represent a very proud set of relatives, friends and fellow brothers in Uniform, many with a wistful tear and a prayer of resolve, as he steps up to the dais amidst thunderous applause. Navdeep’s mother, Mrs Jagtinder Kaur, the fountainhead of pride, courage and strong sense of values that run through the family and fully epitomized by her favourite son, will solemnly accept this ultimate Honour, with a silent prayer on her lips. Lieutenant Navdeep’s younger brother, Sandeep, an aspiring Engineer and his doting sister, Navjot Kaur, both unabashedly proud of his achievements, stand tall with a firm resolve clearly reflecting the ‘go getter’ spirit all pervasive in the family.

Capt Ashutosh Kumar, 5 Raj Rif
Based on receipt of specific info from own and police sources about the presence of armed cadres of terrorists in general area Rangpisso Gaon, a joint search operation was launched under the officer with strength of one JCO and 15 ORs alongwith a police team. At 4.30 am, while own troops were cordoning the village; move of suspected individuals was noticed. On being challenged, the individuals started firing indiscriminately. He closed on to the terrorists making use of thick foliage and despite being under heavy effective fire, fired at the terrorists, killing one of them and injuring another who later succumbed to his injuries. The rest of the terrorists panicked and tried to escape while spraying heavy volume of bullets towards own troops. Determined not to let the fleeing terrorists escape, the officer ordered his troops to change position and pursue the escaping terrorists that led to the killing of one more terrorist by his party while apprehending one cadre alive. Arms and Ammunition, money and other war like stores were recovered from the slain terrorists.
In the face of extreme adversity, inhospitable terrain, and stringent human rights regulations, the officer displayed utmost physical courage killing two dreaded terrorists included Commander. In addition, the officer displayed inspiring leadership and utmost tactical acumen in executing the operation leading to the killing of another terrorists and apprehending one alive, ensuring no collateral damage. This act of the officer is testimony to his dauntless courage, determination and professionalism for which Capt Ashutosh Kumar has been awarded ‘KIRTI CHAKRA’.

Lieutenant Colonel Kamaldeep Singh, 18 RR Bn, originally 13 Raj Rif, was mission commander for Op Maidanpura on 15 July 2011. On receipt of hard intelligence of presence of five hardcore terrorists in the area in Dist Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir, the officer, at 10.50 pm led five quick reaction teams and established cordon of target house. After confirmation of presence of terrorists, he tightened the cordon with another 17 quick reaction team members, thereby sealing all possible exit routes and evacuated five civilians held hostage. While under fire, he readjusted his cordon parties to effectively engage the terrorists leading to immediate elimination of two terrorists. The officer while in close cordon sited a terrorist bringing down heavy fire onto the cordon party. The officer while controlling the operation himself maneuvered to an advantageous position through deft battle craft, eliminated one hard core terrorist and seriously decapacitated another. In an operation lasting over two days, he displayed absolute calmness, exemplary tactical acumen, and motivated his troops leading by personal example.
For his professional acumen, astute leadership, indomitable courage and personal bravery which led to elimination of five hardcore terrorists, Lieutenant Colonel Kamaldeep Singh is awarded ‘KIRTI CHAKRA’.

Lt Sushil Khajuria, 18 Grenadiers, while leading his team in a search operation in the main area in District Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir came face to face with two terrorists. Displaying exceptional presence of mind he opened fire on them allowing his team to take cover. In the prolonged fire fight, the officer advanced from cover to cover and with unflinching resoluteness and raw courage, closed in and eliminated the terrorist from close range. The other terrorist brought down intense fire on the team. Sensing danger, the officer exhibiting conspicuous bravery of highest order immediately engaged and forced the terrorist to retreat. He pursued the terrorist, using the difficult folds in the ground, approached from an unexpected direction and personally eliminated the second terrorist. The officer, displaying exceptional sence of responsibility and camaraderie as a true leader unmindful of his personal safety immediately crawled forward to evacuate one of his injured colleague upholding the highest traditions of the Indian Army. For his act of conspicuous gallantry, exceptional leadership and camaraderie in the highest traditions of Army, Lt Sushil Khajuria has been awarded ‘KIRTI CHAKRA (POSTHUMOUS)’. Lieutenant Sushil Khajuria was born on 28 Aug 1985 at Samba (J&K). He completed his schooling from KV No 1 Gandhi Nagar, Jammu. Om completion of his graduation he joined OTA. On 20 Mar 2010 he was commissioned in ASC on attachment to The 18th Battalion The GRENADIERS Regiment. A second generation officer whose elder brother Capt Anil Khajuria is presently serving with 22 Assam Rifles and also has a younger sister.
Lt Sushil Khajuria joined the unit at Panzgam on 14 Apr 2010. He was the Ghatak Platoon Commander from the beginning and soon he was in the thick of the action and was conducting counter terrorist operations in treacherous mountainous terrain in the frontiers of District Kupwara Jammu and Kashmir. His first real encounter was on 29 July 2011, where he gave an excellent account of himself and the battalion was successful in neutralising one hardcore terrorist.
On 26 Sep 2011, based on specific input by higher formation headquarters and neighbouring formation regarding presence of an infiltration column of approx 5-6 terrorists in the general area Kopra, teams were launched to search and destroy the terrorists. Lieutenant Sushil Khajuria was leading his team in a rugged and difficult terrain with steep slopes and thick undergrowth. Simultaneously, he was also coordinating his move with other four teams, who were carrying out search. While carrying out search of a nalas, he alongwith his team came under heavy volume of fire. His buddy was pinned down by accurate fire from the terrorists. Realising that the terrorists were entrenched in an advantageous position behind a big rock, he crawled through thick foliage to a flank and spotted the terrorists under covering fire from his team.

Unmindful of his personal safety, he charged at the terrorists up slope killing two of them. Officer continued leading from the front. The operation resumed on 27 Sep 2011, another team whose leading scout was Havildar Ravi Kumar got shot by the terrorists at approx 10.30 hrs am and was severely injured. Havildar Ravi Kumar could not move and was effectively covered by fire by the terrorist. Lieutenant Sushil Khajuria volunteered to retrieve injured Havildar Ravi Kumar. He risked himself to move from his present location to retrieve Havildar Ravi. While crawling towards Havildar, Lieutenant Sushil Khajuria was fired upon by a terrorist and was injured. He later succumbed to his injuries and achieved martyrdom. A true “ Braveheart” who will always remain in our hearts.



mithun Aiyappa said...

True Salts of the earth. In an era of scams, corrupt politicians and abject neglect all around. It is theese bravehearts that make us still believe that there is hope and that all is not lost. JAIHIND

Anonymous said...

while the clown is filing court cases to protect his "honour" his men are gallantly laying down their lives to protect the country's honour.

rustom said...

Why cant opeartions like these be planned to reduce casualties on armed forces personnel. As the Soviet theory went and now adapted by most even NATO in croatia, U.S/Brits in Afghanistan /Iraq,for the state not to want her soldier dead and act like rambo but use pure brawns and eliminate the hideout and the terrorist, brawns like a 200 pounder or a helicopter gunship or a missile. Thats how the Yanks enter a war, missiles from a ship miles away from the intended target. The Soviets did nohesitate to use helicopter gunships infact even Pakistan used helicopter gunships agains what it termed terrorists ( read baloochis).
Thus one is perplexed as to why India has a strategy which gets her soldiers in very close quarters with the militants when there is no need to.The Brits have had SAS/SBS for close quarter missons.
If hard evidence shows terrorist hiding out and if calculations prove that more than 50% of the inputs are right and in those encounters thru close combat strategy we lose our own, why not adapt another strategy, what use are the UAV or drones? what use are the misslies or rockets? I mean if our soldiers get killed, we are at war.
Unless of course the top brass is too scared to rattle the politicians like Omar who would probably prefer more awards awarded posthomously rather than keep the AFSPA in place. I think Bharat Matas name is being maligned by her leaders not caring for her soldiers and the continued 'maun vraat' of the supreme commander of Indias forces vis a vis plight of her troops and retiered troops.
Lets not even get into a debate with the likes of Arundhat Roy or Patkar or Burkha Dutt or Human rioghts, they somehow have horse blinkers which compel them to think that Armed Forces personnel do not have a family, do not make a widow , an orphan or leave parents alive when their child died fighting for the country contrary to Human rights beliefs.

Sandeep Gupta said...

Our valiant men tirelessly defend our borders caring little for their life. There are several examples to show us that they have shown steadfast courage and determination while defending our borders. These men in uniform do not do this for name or fame they consider it a sacred duty. Our valiant soldiers show their mettle in peace and in war. With them at the border, we are sure to have peace at our homes. Peace and tranquility in Valley is not due to some people who know how to use different phraseology but is due to distinguished vigilance of defence forces. May God give them more strength to defend our borders from any adversaries.

Our warm salute to the parents of the valiant offier. God may grant him peace to his soul in His Abode.