Country's largest paramilitary force, the Central Reserve Police Force, has bagged the maximum of 75 gallantry medals, including a Kirti Chakra and two Shaurya Chakras, for counter-terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir and in the anti-Naxal combat grid, on the eve of Independence Day.
Harshpal Singh, now promoted in the Second-in-command rank from Deputy Commandant, and his buddy constable Zaker Hussain have been decorated with the military medals for killing ‘three dreaded terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammed’ in September last year in Jammu.
'Both these brave hearts took bullets and grenade splinters fired by the terrorists but they held their ground till they gunned down all the three terrorists hiding behind a house,' their citation stated.
Singh has been decorated with the Kirti Chakra, the second highest peacetime gallantry medal of the country, while Hussain has been awarded the Shaurya Chakra, one below in precedence than the Kirti Chakra, for this operation.
Constable Sable Dyaneshwar Shriram of the 53rd battalion of the force was awarded the Shaurya Chakra for killing two armed JeM terrorists after taking them on in Baramulla district of Kashmir valley while he was on 'naka' (checkpost) duty on October 19 last year.
"These personnel have gone beyond the line of duty and have displayed extreme grit and courage in various combat theatres in Jammu and Kashmir and the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) hit areas. We are very proud of them," Moses Dhinakaran, Deputy Inspector General (intelligence) and CRPF spokesperson, said.
The force also bagged two President's Police Medal for Gallantry for Assistant Commandant L Ibomcha Singh and Constable Mohd Majahid Khan (posthumous).
The duo eliminated two Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists who attacked a force camp in the Karan Nagar area of Srinagar on February 12 last year.
"Singh was instrumental in decimating both the terrorists in a life-threatening situation. Khan showed extreme determination and dedication to duty when he, despite his injuries, kept on engaging the terrorists before succumbing to his injuries," their citation said.
A number of personnel have also been awarded for their gallantry in anti-Naxal operations in various states.
While about 3 lakh personnel strength force, CRPF is the only Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) to have been decorated with military medals this time, it bagged 72 police gallantry medals out of the 180 declared by the government on Wednesday.
This is followed by 61 gallantry medals bagged by the J-K Police, 23 by Odisha police, nine by police personnel from Chhattisgarh and five each by the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police force.
The ITBP has been awarded a total of 19 medals in various service categories this time.
The five personnel, from the 44th battalion of the force, are Deputy Commandant Rajesh Kumar, Inspector Jitender, Head Constable Sukhdev Donkari and Constables Anil Negi and Mahesh Kumar.
"The troops have been decorated with the police medal for gallantry for displaying exemplary valour and extraordinary courage in a Naxal encounter that took place on October 25, 2017 in the jungles of Kamkasur and Kopankarka in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh," a force spokesperson said.
After a night-long encounter, three Naxal PLGA area committee members carrying Rs 5 lakh reward each were gunned down by this team. The troops exhibited raw courage and bravery in this action, he said.
Those decorated with the President's police medal for distinguished service include Deputy Inspector General Rabindra Pandey.
The awardees for the police medal for meritorious service include second-in-command rank officer Dhirendra Singh Negi, Inspector Babu Lal and Assistant Commandant Bhanita Timungapi.
Timungapi is an ace mountaineer and has many successful expeditions to her name. She is the second woman climber of the force with a rich experience in mountaineering after Santosh Yadav, the first woman to climb Mount Everest twice.
Yadav, a Padma Shri recipient, was with the ITBP as a Deputy Commandant.
32 Central Industrial Security Force officials have been decorated with various categories of police service medals.
The awardees of the distinguished service medal include Commandant Satyabir Singh, Deputy Commandant R Paignkannan and Sub-inspector S Raveendran.
Among the meritorious service medal recipients are Senior Commandants Ajay Kumar and Anil Damor and Deputy Commandant Y S Shekhawat among others.
Three personnel including Deputy Inspector General Raj Nath Singh have been awarded the President's distinguished fire service medal, a force spokesperson said.
The fire service medal for meritorious service has been given to three officials including Assistant Commandant Ramesh Singh and Sub Inspector Varadharaj R.
The about 1.66-lakh personnel strong CISF is tasked to guard 61 civil airports of the country apart from guarding vital infrastructure in the nuclear and aerospace domain.
It also provides security to vital business sector undertakings in the private domain.