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R-day Special: The men who protect India's honour

Last updated on: January 25, 2013 17:07 IST

R-day Special: The men who protect India's honour

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On Republic Day, nine bravehearts of the Indian Army, who risked -- and in some cases lost -- their lives to defend their nation, will be honoured for their acts of exceptional gallantry.

Let us join the rest of the nation in honouring these real-life heroes.

Major Anup Joseph Manjali

Bihar Regiment/24th Battalion The Rashtriya Rifles

Major Anup Joseph Manjali is a brave, dynamic and fearless officer commanding 'Sutrun Company' of 24 RR (Bihar). He led his company column under extreme adverse terrain and weather conditions during the Battalion Level Operation in Jammu & Kashmir, launched on September 30, 2012.

At around 3.30 am on October 1, he established a close cordon around a Dhok, in which five hardcore foreign terrorist leaders were hiding. At first light, the officer, displaying raw courage, crawled up to the entrance of the Dhok and lobbed a hand grenade to flush out the terrorists, resulting in the elimination of one terrorist on the spot.

Other terrorists ran out towards the forest, firing indiscriminately in order to break contact. The officer, sensing danger to his troops, displayed the utmost presence of mind and utter disregard to personal safety. He engaged the fleeing terrorists in a close quarter battle. After closing in on them, he shot dead two more dreaded terrorists from a distance of approximately twenty meters in a most daring act.    
   
The officer exhibited a singular act of bravery under heavy terrorist fire. For this most conspicuous act of gallantry, exhibition of raw courage and exemplary leadership, Major Anup Joseph Manjali is conferred the award of Kirti Chakra.

Havildar Vir Singh
 
13 Battalion The Sikh Regiment

Havildar Vir Singh was the commander of the operation column in Operation Medhipara on February 19, 2012, which led to elimination of two hardcore terrorists of a dreaded militant group.

Based on inputs regarding the movement of terrorists, Multiple Mobile Check Posts were placed at 6.45 pm on all routes of ingress from Meghalaya to Assam.  At approximately 11 pm, two individuals on motorcycle approached a mobile check post situated in Goalpara district of Assam, and were asked to stop. On being challenged, they started firing on the party and tried to flee.

Havildar Vir Singh immediately challenged the terrorists to halt and warned them of retaliatory fire. Instead of stopping, the terrorists opened indiscriminate fire and attempted to flee under the cover of darkness.
 
In a swift reaction, Havildar Vir Singh started chasing the fleeing terrorists towards the undulating ground ahead. Despite coming under heavy fire, the Non Commissioned Officer remained steadfast in his pursuit and neutralised the terrorists after a nerve-racking fierce close combat. 

One 7.65 mm pistol, one 9 mm pistol, both made in the United States, along with two magazines and nine live rounds were recovered from the slain terrorists.  The neutralised terrorists were identified as deputy area commander/financial secretary of the terrorist group active in the region.

For displaying conspicuous gallantry, exceptional leadership and exemplary combat proficiency, Havildar Vir Singh is conferred the award of Shaurya Chakra.

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Image: Havildar Vir Singh


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Major Sandeep Kumar

13 Battalion The Sikh Regiment

Major Sandeep Kumar was the commander of the operation column in Operation Kashibari on April 1, 2012, which led to the elimination of two hardcore militants of a terrorist group.

Based on inputs regarding the presence of some militants in the general area of Goalpara district of Assam, a search operation was launched at 11.45 pm on April 1, 2012.  At approximately 1 am on April 2, 2012, suspicious movement was noticed inside an abandoned building on the outskirts of the village.

Major Sandeep Kumar, displaying exemplary leadership and tactical acumen, quickly deployed his troops to establish a cordon and ensured that all escape routes were blocked. On being challenged to come out, the holed up militants started firing on the troops from inside the building.

Major Sandeep Kumar, displaying raw courage, crawled towards the building and latched the door of the building from outside. The militants were again warned to surrender, but they retaliated with fire. 

In a swift reaction, the officer closed in on the holed up militants and displaying excellent field craft, ordered his buddy to fire in the left corner of the building to pin down the militants. Unmindful of personal safety despite coming under fire, the officer neutralised the two militants at close quarters, displaying conspicuous gallantry and utmost devotion to duty.

For his most conspicuous gallantry, exceptional leadership, tactical acumen and combat proficiency, Major Sandeep Kumar is conferred the award of Shaurya Chakra.

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Image: Major Sandeep Kumar


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Major Manish Punj 

The Rajput Regiment/10th Battalion The Rashtriya Rifles
        
On August 5, 2012, based on specific intelligence about the presence of three hardcore  terrorists in the far-flung area of Kishtwar District in Jammu & Kashmir, a well-planned and coordinated operation was executed by Major Manish Punj  along with the Special Task Force in Doda with complete stealth and secrecy. 
 
Major Manish's team closed in and established a close cordon of the terrorist hideout, remaining completely undetected.  At 9 am, the terrorists were taken by complete surprise on being challenged and opened indiscriminate fire on the troops. In the ensuing gun fight, one of the terrorists was shot dead by Major Manish while he tried to jump the cordon. Major Manish later closed in on the second terrorist who was carrying out intermittent firing and eliminated him at a close range.

Under his leadership, the team later apprehended the third terrorist and completed the mission in a surgical and most professional manner.
 
For displaying outstanding leadership qualities, ingenuity, indomitable courage in the  face of hostile fire and for single-handedly eliminating the most  elusive terrorist, Major  Manish Punj is conferred the award of  Shaurya Chakra.

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Image: Major Manish Punj


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Captain A Rahul Ramesh

Corps of Engineers/72nd Road Construction Company
 
Captain A Rahul Ramesh was detailed to execute the daunting task of road clearance which includes clearance of land slides, formation cutting to create diversions and bridging of gaps that had arisen consequent to a cloud burst in the general area of Uttarkashi (Uttarakhand) on August 3-4, 2012.
 
Captain A Rahul Ramesh, without caring for his personal safety and comfort, successfully cleared heavy slides on the Dharasu-Gangotri Road near the Line of Actual Control in inclement weather and extremely rough terrain in nine days before volunteering to construct a 110 feet Triple Single Bailey Bridge at Sawarigad on Dharasu–Gangotri road on August 14.  The officer moved the complete bridging equipment from a distance of 65 km to the launching site with a limited number of vehicles in the record time of two days.
 
On August 14, at around 7 am, Captain A Rahul Ramesh, being the Bridge Party Commander, set out to launch a 110 feet Triple Single Bailey Bridge.  The bridge was successfully assembled till seventh bay and work was going on towards assembling the eighth bay. 

At 2.30 pm, the hill side of home bank suddenly collapsed.  When some portion fell down, Captain A Rahul Ramesh pushed DVRMT Byasadeb Panda, who was working on the rollers, to safety and went alone with an OP pin, without caring for his personal safety, to jam the rollers so as to prevent the bridge from sliding into the nallah. He directed the others present to move to a safe place. 

However, due to the recurrence of a landslide in a short while, the bridge was hit by a big boulder and the bridge skidded off the roller and slid into the gap. Captain A Rahul Ramesh got trapped under one of the transoms of the bridge. 

The officer, displaying exceptional sense of responsibility and camaraderie as a true leader, unmindful of his personal safety and upholding the highest traditions of Indian Army, willingly laid down his life to save the life of others.
 
For his professional acumen, astute leadership, selfless act of bravery, indomitable courage, exceptional devotion to duty and camaraderie, Captain A Rahul Ramesh is conferred the award of Shaurya Chakra (posthumous).

Captain Dinesh Kumar

9th Battalion The Madras Regiment

Captain Dinesh Kumar, through the network that he had developed at Langting, acquired intelligence input about the presence of a composite group of six top ranking heavily armed insurgents of a terrorist group in a village of Silchar district in Assam.
 
During the operation launched on June 23, 2012 at 4.10 am to flush out the insurgents, Captain Dinesh Kumar, identifying a Jhoom Hut where the hardcore insurgents were holed up, stealthily moved forward to neutralise the one insurgent on sentry duty.

Detecting the officer's movement, the insurgent fired at him from close quarters. Captain Dinesh, displaying tremendous courage, presence of mind and showing utter disregard for his personal safety, single-handedly charged at the insurgent and shot him dead. Another insurgent, by this time, had picked up his weapon and was fleeing towards the jungle. The officer, again it great personal risk to himself, single-handedly chased the armed fleeing insurgent and shot him dead.
 
For this act of conspicuous personal bravery and valour in the highest traditions of Indian Army and for demonstrating raw courage, abundant initiative and outstanding leadership qualities leading to the elimination of two hardcore insurgents, Captain Dinesh Kumar is conferred the award of Shaurya Chakra.

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Image: Captain Dinesh Kumar


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Lieutenant Manish Singh

9th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (Special Forces)

Lieutenant Manish Singh is troop commander with 9th Battalion of the Parachute Regiment since April 1, 2011.

As part of search and destroy operation of 30 RR in the general area of Kupwara District in Jammu and Kashmir on September 25, 2012, his squad was tasked to track escaping terrorists through terraced maize fields. During the search, a terrorist suddenly opened indiscriminate fire, injuring Lieutenant Manish Singh and pinning down his squad.

In a display of extreme courage and utter disregard for his own safety, despite his injuries, Lieutenant Manish crawled forward and kept the terrorist pinned down. During the encounter, the officer displayed leadership of the highest order in refusing to be evacuated and notwithstanding his grievous injuries and blood loss, held on to his position.

Finally as the terrorist charged upon him, he shot him dead at near point blank range. His courageous action ensured the safety of his men and ruled out collateral damage to civilian houses.

For his act of showing courage of exemplary order, conspicuous gallantry and outstanding leadership in the highest traditions of the Indian Army, Lieutenant Manish Singh is conferred the award of Shaurya Chakra.

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Image: Lieutenant Manish Singh


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Subedar Pradeep Beck

Bihar Regiment/24th Battalion The Rashtriya Rifles

On July 9, 2012, a unit source informed about the presence of a hard-core terrorist in a village of Ganderbal district of Jammu & Kashmir. Subedar Pradeep Beck immediately led a patrol and deployed a cordon around the suspected house before first light.

At first light, when the terrorist came out of the house, he started running back to the house when challenged and opened indiscriminate fire onto the cordon party. The JCO, sensing danger to his party, exhibited quick presence of mind and dauntless courage and chased the terrorist up to fifty metres when he tried to enter the house through its window.

The JCO, with utter disregard to personal safety, ran into the open and quickly closed in on the terrorist. He swiftly fired at the terrorist, killing him instantly. Displaying utmost professional competence, tactical acumen and utter disregard to personal safety, Subedar Pradeep Beck led from the front in the face of hostile fire, which resulted in the elimination of a dreaded terrorist commander who had been active in the area for the past decade.

For his gallant action, inspirational leadership and conspicuous bravery under terrorist fire, Subedar Pradeep Beck is conferred the award of Shaurya Chakra.

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Image: Subedar Pradeep Beck


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Naik Rajeshver Singh

16th Battalion The Punjab Regiment

Naik Rajeshver Singh was deployed at Abdul Hut Post on the Line of Control.

Based on intelligence inputs about a possible raid attempt by the enemy, troops were on constant vigil. On September 4, 2012, at 4.40 pm, the army post came under heavy automatic fire by the enemy at Ratwaji Nar of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir.

During the initial volley of enemy fire, Sepoy Sushil Kumar was wounded and Naik Rajeshver, displaying raw courage, rushed to his aid.  During this act, he saw intruders charging from the thick foliage towards the Post. Showing exceptional courage, camaraderie and total disregard for his own safety, he quickly changed his position and charged towards the leading terrorist, who had closed in on the post.

The ensuing fire fight resulted in the killing of one terrorist and the individual sustaining a burst of gunfire. Thereafter, with single-minded purpose, exceptional valour and regardless of his injuries, he continued fighting, thereby injuring a second terrorist. His indomitable spirit and exceptional bravery forced the enemy to abandon their assault and successfully repulsed the threat to the Post.    

In the highest traditions of the army, the individual displayed indomitable spirit and exceptional bravery. For this act of gallantry beyond the call of duty, Late Naik Rajeshver Singh is conferred the award of Shaurya Chakra (posthumous).

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Image: Naik Rajeshver Singh


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Naik Anil Kumar

16th Battalion The Punjab Regiment

Naik Anil Kumar was deployed at Abdul Hut Post on the line of control.

On September 4, 2012, army troops were alerted about the likelihood of a raid attempt by the enemy, based on intelligence inputs. At 4.40 pm, the Post came under heavy automatic fire by the enemy from Ratwaji Nar of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir.

During the initial volley of enemy fire, Sepoy Sushil Kumar sustained an injury and Naik Anil Kumar, who was manning the Medium Machine Gun, immediately retaliated.

Displaying immense wit, undaunted courage and assessing the enemy's closeness to the post, he promptly lifted and brought the Medium Machine Gun out from the bunker and effectively engaged the remaining terrorists, thereby causing casualty to one terrorist and beating back the others.

In the ensuing fire fight, the individual also sustained a burst of fire. Regardless of personal safety and with a single-minded purpose, he continued to provide covering fire for the others, to react and engage the enemy.

His exceptional valour and presence of mind forced the enemy to retreat, thus successfully repulsing the assault. Later, the individual succumbed to his injuries on September 25, 2012.

For the act of great courage, initiative and exceptional bravery, Naik Anil Kumar is conferred the award of Shaurya Chakra (posthumous).

Naik Krishan Kumar

Brigade of the Guards/13th Sikh Light Infantry Battalion Group
 
Naik Krishan Kumar served with the 13th Sikh Light Infantry Battalion Group in the Democratic Republic of Congo from February 27 to July 5, 2012.
 
Naik Krishan Kumar was part of the Quick Reaction Force inducted on July 5 at 5 pm at SCD Bunagana to contain and handle the intensifying fire fight between M23 rebels and the FARDC, which was threatening the life and property of civilians in the area.

At 6 pm, the location came under heavy effective fire from the rebels and an intense fire fight ensued.  Undeterred, the Non-Commissioned Officer held his ground and continued to engage the rebels, thereby dissuading them from reaching the population centre. The prompt assessment of the situation, adherence to laid down Rules of Engagement and tenacity of the NCO not only delayed the rebels' advance but also encouraged his comrades to hold their ground. 

At 8.20 pm, Naik Krishan Kumar was hit by a bullet and in spite of being grievously injured, the NCO zealously continued to hold his position till he breathed his last.
 
For this act of unflinching bravery, stellar devotion to duty, tenacity and absolute adherence to Indian Army's ethos, Naik Krishan Kumar is conferred the award of Shaurya Chakra (posthumous).

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Image: Naik Anil Kumar


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