An army major, who killed two terrorists in an encounter in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, has been posthumously conferred the highest peacetime gallantry medal Ashok Chakra on the occasion of Independence Day.
Twelve personnel, including four posthumously, would be given the third-highest gallantry award Shaurya Chakra for their respective acts of bravery in Jammu and Kashmir, northeastern states and other counter insurgency operations. A total of 55 gallantry awards will be given on this Independence Day.
Major Mukund Varadrajan, 31, deployed his troops in Shopian on April 25 to surround three terrorists hiding in an outhouse in Qazipathri village. The terrorists had attacked poll officials earlier.
Meanwhileanother terrorist opened a burst of auto fire thereby seriously injuring Mukund who despite bleeding profusely crawled ahead, fired and neutralised the second terrorist.
“Maj Mukund of 44 Rashtriya Rifles along with his buddy Sepoy Vikram displaying raw courage crawled in proximity to the outhouse. The officer lobbed a grenade inside the cement outhouse killing one terrorist instantaneously,” his citation says.
“The elimination of terrorist avenged the killing of the election officials within 24 hours and restored faith of public in democracy and the Army. Maj Mukund was evacuated but succumbed to his injuries,” it said.
His buddy Sepoy Vikram has also been awarded the Shurya Chakra posthumously for killing from close quarters the third terrorist who was trying to flee from the spot.
55 gallantry awards to Armed Forces Personnel and members of paramilitary forces which includes one Ashoka Chakra, 12 Shaurya Chakras, 39 Sena Medal (gallantry), one Nao Sena Medal (gallantry) and two Vayu Sena Medal (gallantry).