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Meet the heroes of the Surgical Strikes

Last updated on: March 21, 2017 12:08 IST

Major Rohit Suri and Naib Subedar Vijay Kumar were honoured at a military investiture ceremony.

Two of the Indian Army's daredevils who were part of the audacious cross-border surgical strikes against terror launch pads in Pakistan occupied Kashmir on the night of September 28-29, 2016 were among the military personnel awarded gallantry medals at a defence investiture ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday, March 20, 2017.

IMAGE: Major Rohit Suri of the 4 Para (Special Forces) was awarded the Kirti Chakra for showing exemplary leadership and courage in the surgical strike. Photographs: Press Information Bureau

Major Rohit Suri of the 4 Para (Special Forces), who led the team that carried out the daring cross-border surgical strike last year, was decorated with the Kirti Chakra, the nation's second highest gallantry award in peacetime.

Major Suri, the citation said, showed exemplary leadership and courage beyond the call of duty and 'once all terrorists were neutralised,' he directed the strike team to move to jungle towards north west of the target.'

The leader of the commandos displayed utter disregard to his personal safety and showing 'raw courage,' neutralised two terrorists in a close quarter combat, the citation added.

Naib Subedar Vijay Kumar, was awarded the Shaurya Chakra for his daredevilry in killing two terrorists in the operation despite coming under fire.

IMAGE: Naib Subedar Vijay Kumar awarded the Shaurya Chakra by President Pranab Mukherjee.

'Naib Subedar Vijay Kumar opened extremely heavy volume of fire onto the terrorist hideout, thereby enabling smooth closing in by the assault group to the target,' the citation read.

Apart from these two heroes, 17 other commandos from the 4 and 9 Para Special Forces featured in this year's Republic Day gallantry awards list for the surgical strikes.

Four soldiers were awarded the Shaurya Chakras while 13 were awarded Sena Medals.

Colonel Harpreet Sandhu and Colonel Kapil Yadav, the commanding officers of the 4 and 9 Para battalions respectively, were awarded Yudh Seva Medals.

Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi, the senior-most (by service) officer in the Indian Army who heads the Eastern Command, was conferred the Param Vishisht Seva Medal.

General Bakshi was expected to be the chief of the army staff, but the government overlooked him and Lieutenant General P M Hariz, the next senior officer who heads the Southern Command, and appointed General Bipin Rawat, the then vice-chief, as COAS instead.

Other senior officers awarded the PVSM include Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Vice Admiral Harish Chandra and Air Marshal Jasbir Walia.

IMAGE: Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi, the Eastern Army Commander, was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal.

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