Another officer awarded the Ashok Chakra on Independence Day eve was Orissa Armed Police's Special Operation Group (SOG) Assistant Commandant Pramod Kumar Satapathy. He received the medal posthumously.
On February 15 last year, about 500 heavily armed Naxalites carried out simultaneous attacks on police at various locations in and around Bhubaneswar looting many weapons and killing several police personnel. Thereafter, they hid in nearby jungles.
Satapathy, who was training in-charge for SOG, along with a mere 20 police personnel reached the elevated position taken by the Naxalites inside the jungle and immediately mounted an assault on them.
The Naxalites retaliated with heavy fire on the police team and in a fierce encounter lasting for about two hours, Satapathy led the operations, but fell to bullet injuries.
Image: A file photo shows insurgents undergoing a drill at an undisclosed location.
Photograph: Rediff Archives