Three Central Reserve Police Force commandos, who formed the strike squad that killed top Maoist leader Kishenji, have been named for President's police medals for gallantry on the eve of Republic Day.
S Sreenu, Birendra Kumar Singh and Deepak Kumar Xaxa were part of the special CoBRA team that killed the Communist Party of India-Maoist central committee member, whose real name was Koteshwar Rao, in the forests of Burisole near Jhargram in West Bengal on November 24, 2011.
Last year, CRPF assistant commandants Vinoj P Joseph and Nagendra Singh, both officers of CRPF's CoBRA battalion, were decorated with the 'Shaurya Chakra' for the same operation.
Kishenji was killed "thanks to this operation in which these constables, shoulder-to-shoulder fought with great determination, extraordinary bravery and conspicuous bravery", the citation for these three personnel stated.
Another trooper S Muthuvel who was instrumental in cutting the Maoists supply line for additional weapons during this operation could not make to the gallantry list this time as force officials said he is expected to be given the award next year.
All the troopers belong to the 207 unit of the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action and were handpicked by the force to be a part of the anti-Naxal operations and jungle warfare in the state.
The CRPF has received the maximum number of gallantry awards announced today, with 32 police medals for gallantry which includes 14 posthumously.
The CRPF also topped the medals tally with 95 medals out of the 875 in all categories.
The maximum number of these medals have been won by the CRPF in the anti-Naxal operations domain. The force has deployed more than 80,000 personnel for anti-Naxal operations in various states