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President to honour 494 armed forces personnel

January 26, 2004 00:50 IST

President A P J Abdul Kalam will honour 494 armed forces personnel on Republic Day on Monday and though the government said there had been little action during the year-long Operation Parakram, the mobilisation of troops on the Pakistani border, the roll of honour belies the claim.

Among the decorations are five Uttam Yudh Seva medals, 13 Yudh Seva medals and citations for a number of Sena medals, Shaurya Chakra as well as Nao Sena medals where it is stated the medals have been awarded for gallantry in the face of the enemy.

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The recipients of the Uttam Yudh Seva medals is the army's new public face Maj Gen Deepak Summenwar who has been honoured for his role in leading a mountain division in Dras during Operation Parakram and Maj Gen J K Mohanty who led the Siachen Division during the same operation.

Other recipients are Major Gen Hardev Singh Lidder, who led Operation Sarp Vinash against terrorist hideouts in Surankote in Rajouri district and Maj Gen S Yadav for leading the counter-insurgency Kilo Force in the frontier district of Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir.

Lt Triveni Singh of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry, the young officer who averted a terrorist attack at the Jammu Railway Station in December, has been posthumously decorated with Ashok Chakra, the nation's highest peacetime award. His father, Capt Jamrej Singh, will receive the medal from the President on Monday.

The sister of Commando Sanjog Chhetri of the 9 Para Commandoes, who was awarded the Ashok Chakra in 2003, will receive the medal from the President, the Supreme Commander of the armed forces.

Major Ashok Kothiyal of the Garhwal Rifles and Constable C Stanly of the Border Security force will be honoured with the Kirti Chakra, the second highest gallantry award for daring acts against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. Stanly made the supreme sacrifice.

The roll of honour this year includes one Ashok Chakra, two Kirti Chakras, 29 Param Vishist Seva medals, five Uttam Yudh Seva medals, three bars to Ati Vishist Seva medals, one bar to Shaurya Chakra, 30 Shaurya Chakras, 48 Ati Vishist Seva medals, 13 Yudh Seva medals, four bars to Sena medals, 163 Sena medals, 17 Nao Sena medals, 16 Vayu Sena medals, three bars to Vishist Seva medals and 119 Vishist Seva medals.

Vice Chief of the Army Staff Lt Gen Shantonu Choudhary and Northern Command chief Lt Gen Hari Prasad are among the 28 senior officers have been decorated with Param Vishist Seva Medal for distinguished service of the highest order. Recipients include Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral S V Gopalachari, Deputy Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen J B S Yadava, Air Marshal Raghu Rajan and former Assistant Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Narayan Menon.

Other recipients of the PVSM include Director General Military Intelligence Lt Gen Richard Khare, DG NCC Lt Gen B K Bopanna, and General Officer Commanding the key Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen Nirbhay Sharma.

Brigadier Shurti Kant, who recently retired as army spokesperson, has become the first Army Public Relations Officer to be awarded the Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM).

Kant, who belonged to the Army Education Corps, took over as the army's spokesperson at South Block in March 1998. Earlier, he was the Northern Command's PRO and was based in Jammu and Kashmir for eight years during the height of militancy. He had also served as PRO for the Southern Command in the Rajasthan and Gujarat sectors and is a recipient of the VSM and five other decorations, including three commendations from army chiefs.

Also among the AVSM winners is Maj Gen Tej Krishan Kaul, who is the General Officer Commanding Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat areas. He had earlier put in a vital stint in the Directorate of Military Intelligence.

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