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Gallantry Awards 2018: 1 Kirti Chakra, 1 Ashok Chakra And 14 Shaurya Chakra Honours

Gallantry Awards 2018 (Source-Ministry of Defence official Twitter account)
Representational image. (Source - Ministry of Defence official Twitter account)

Other Military Honours

Gallantry Awards 2018: 1 Kirti Chakra, 1 Ashok Chakra And 14 Shaurya Chakra Honours

14 Shaurya Chakra awardees were named on Republic Day, followed by 20 more on Independence Day.

India’s bravehearts were honoured on the 69th Republic Day, with the government announcing some of the most prestigious awards for gallantry and courage. The gallantry awards 2018 saw one Ashok Chakra awardee from the Indian Air Force (IAF), one Kirti Chakra awardee from the Indian Army, and 14 Shaurya Chakra awardees, including nine from the Army, three from the Indian Air Force, and two from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

(Read – Republic Day 2018: 10 Heads Of State As Chief Guests And Other Interesting Facts)

As part of the Independence Day gallantry awards 2018, one more Kirti Chakra (posthumous) and 20 other Shaurya Chakra awards were announced to honour the personnel of the armed forces and the paramilitary forces. The awards included three Bar to Sena Medal (Gallantry), 93 Sena Medals (Gallantry), 11 Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry), and three Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry).

(Read – Independence Day Gallantry Awards: 1 Kirti Chakra, 20 Shaurya Chakras)

Ashok Chakra

Corporal Jyoti Prakash Nirala of the Indian Air Force was chosen for the Ashok Chakra, India’s highest peacetime award that is equivalent to the war-time Param Vir Chakra.

Corporal Jyoti Prakash Nirala has been awarded Ashok Chakra (Posthumous).(Source-PIB)

Corporal Jyoti Prakash Nirala has been awarded the Ashok Chakra (Posthumous).(Source-PIB)

The citation for the honour conferred on Nirala, a member of the Garud Special Forces, as part of the gallantry awards 2018 details his bravery.

On 18 November, 2017, an offensive was launched jointly by the Garud detachment and Rashtriya Rifles Battalion in Chanderger village of Bandipora district in J&K.

According to the citation, Cpl Nirala, displaying exceptional battle craft, positioned himself close to the approach of the hideout, thus cutting off all possibilities of an escape by the terrorists.

Laying this ambush itself at such close quarters demanded a very high degree of courage and professional acumen. Cpl Nirala, disregarding personal safety and displaying indomitable courage, retaliated with effective lethal fire and gunned down two category ‘A’ terrorists and injured two others.

In this violent exchange of fire, Cpl Nirala was hit by a volley of small arms fire. Subsequently, he succumbed to fatal gunshot wounds received in the fierce encounter, which resulted in the killing of all six dreaded terrorists.

– The citation

Kirti Chakra

One of the most heroic actions recognised by the gallantry awards 2018 is that of Major Vijayant Bisht of the Indian Army. He was awarded the second highest peace-time honour, the Kirti Chakra.

He received this award for his bravery in Jammu and Kashmir on 6-7 June 2017. According to the citation for his award, he was leading an ambush in the Chorgali Forest of Uri district, Jammu and Kashmir, when he spotted a terrorist infiltration.

Major Bisht challenged them, prompting the terrorists to escape into the Goalta forest. On 7 June, Major Vijayant tracked down the terrorists and engaged them in a fierce fight.  The first scout of the patrol Rifleman Raj Paul got injured but unmindful of his personal safety he crawled forward and pulled his colleague in an undulating ground behind cover.

(Read – India’s National Ceremonies And What They Stand For)

The terrorists continued to engage the patrol with heavy fire. Undeterred, he, regardless of personal dangers, carried out hot pursuit of escaping terrorists. Then the officer motivated his team to continue search of terrorists for next 48 hours under adverse weather conditions which was fructified on 09 June when the terrorists were sighted again.

In the ensuing firefight, the officer dashed forward, unmindful of terrorist’s heavy fire and lobbed grenades while firing on them. In this daring act he neutralized one terrorist and displaying raw courage engaged the second terrorist in a close quarter battle and eliminated him at point blank range.

A second Kirti Chakra award was announced on Independence Day. Sepoy Vrahma Pal Singh of the Indian Army was honoured posthumously for his bravery in an operation against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.

Gallantry Awards 2018: 1 Kirti Chakra, 1 Ashok Chakra And 14 Shaurya Chakra Honours

(Source – Twitter account of ADGPI – Indian Army)

In November 2017, Singh was part of a search and cordon operation to capture three terrorists in a village in Pulwama district. He came under fire from the terrorists and retaliated, pinning them down in a dark cowshed.

Singh sustained injuries in his leg and chest but  killed one terrorist and wounded another before succumbing to his injuries.

The peacetime equivalent of the Maha Vir Chakra, the Kirti Chakra, is a military decoration awarded by the Government of India for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the field of battle.

Shaurya Chakra

The 14 awardees of the Shaurya Chakra as part of the gallantry awards 2018 announced on Republic Day included three from the Indian Air Force.

Corporal Nilesh Kumar Nayan has been awarded Shaurya Chakra (Posthumous).(Source- PIB)

Corporal Nilesh Kumar Nayan has been awarded the Shaurya Chakra (Posthumous).(Source- PIB)

Corporal Nilesh Kumar Nayan (Posthumous)Deployed with the Rashtriya Rifles in Jammu and Kashmir, he was part of the cordon and search operations to flush out terrorists from a village on 10 October 2017. He took on the terrorists when they stormed out, guns blazing, from their hideout. He killed one of them and provided covering fire to his colleagues though he had sustained injuries from the volley of shots fired by the terrorists. He was martyred after suffering fatal bullet injuries.

Sgt Khairnar Milind Kishor has been awarded Shaurya Chakra (Posthumous).(Source- PIB)

Sgt Khairnar Milind Kishor has been awarded Shaurya Chakra (Posthumous).(Source- PIB)

Sergeant Khairnar Milind Kishor (Posthumous): A Garud commando, he was part of the same operation as Corporal Nayan and was hit by bullets and shrapnel as the terrorists tried to escape. He managed to close their escape route but came under heavy and sustained fire, receiving critical injuries that he succumbed to at the hospital.

Corporal Devendra Mehta: He was part of the anti-insurgency Operation Rakshak in Jammu and Kashmir. He was part of a detachment that surrounded a house occupied by suspected terrorists on 18 November 2017. Corporal Mehta gunned down the terrorists when they tried to flee and provided covering fire to the rest of the team.

He received the honour from President Ram Nath Kovind at an investiture ceremony on 23 April 2018.

Nine members of the Indian Army were honoured with the Shaurya Chakra on Republic Day.

Major Akhil Raj RV: For displaying exemplary leadership, raw courage, fearlessness in face of intense firing and conspicuous gallantry beyond call of duty resulting in elimination of hard core terrorists of Lashkar-e-Toiba tanzeem.

He received the honour from President Ram Nath Kovind at an investiture ceremony on 23 April 2018.

Captain Rohit Shukla: For displaying indomitable courage, initiative, bravery and taking on the terrorists, unmindful of his personal safety, resulting in the elimination of hardcore Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists.

Captain Abhinav Shukla: His display of indomitable courage and leadership resulted in successful termination of a highly complex and difficult operation. He displayed gallant action in spite of personal injuries and raw courage under fire.

Captain (now Major) Pradeep Shoury Arya:He became the first member of the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) to be awarded a Shaurya Chakra. A 2004 IRS officer, Arya joined the Territorial Army in 2008 and was subsequently attached to the Parachute Regiment (Special Forces). He was honoured for his gallantry in foiling an interception bid by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir on 28 May 2017.

He received the award from President Kovind.

Other awardees from the Indian Army were Havildar Rabindra Thapa, Havildar Mubarik Ali, Paratrooper Manchu, Lance Naik Badher Hussain and Naik Narender Singh.

Two members of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Assistant Commandant Vikram Jakhar, and Sub-Inspctor Md. Riyaz Aslam Ansari received the Shaurya Chakra for their gallantry while fighting Maoists in Jharkhand on 26 November 2016.

The Shaurya Chakra honours in the Independence Day gallantry awards 2018 included one officer from the Indian Navy, 14 personnel from the Indian Army, and five members from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

India’s third highest peacetime military decoration, the Shaurya Chakra, is awarded to both military personnel and civilians. It is the peacetime equivalent of the Vir Chakra. It is generally awarded for counter-insurgency operations and actions against the enemy during peace-time.

Nao Sena Medals For INSV Tarini Crew

The Independence Day gallantry awards 2018 also included Nao Sena medals (gallantry) to the Indian Navy’s all-woman crew of INSV Tarini. They completed circumnavigation of the globe in May this year. The crew covered over 21,600 nautical miles in over eight months.

The six personnel to be honoured were Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi, who was the skipper of the sailing vessel, Pratibha Jamwal and P Swathi, both Lieutenant Commanders, and S Vijaya Devi, Payal Gupta, and Aishwarya Bodapati, all Lieutenants.

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