New Delhi: Gallantry awards to be given out this Republic Day have been announced and it is time to honour our Army personnel who put their duty towards the nation above everything else. Following is a short profile of all the brave Army personnel to be awarded at this year’s Republic Day parade, some of them posthumously:
- Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani, Ashok Chakra (Posthumous): Wani already had two gallantry awards under his belt. On November 25, 2018, Wani of 34 Rashtriya Rifles, was part of the assault team during Operation Batagund against six heavily armed terrorists in Shopian district of J-K. Tasked to block their escape route, Wani moved swiftly with his team to the target house. He managed to eliminate a terrorist who was later identified as a dreaded district commander of Lashker-e-Taiba. He lobbed grenades into a room where another terrorist was hiding, eliminating him. Despite being wounded, Lance Naik Nazir continued to engage the remaining terrorists and injured another one before succumbing to his injuries.
- Major Tushar Gauba, Kirti Chakra: On May 23, 2018, eight militants attempted an infiltration across LoC in Kupwara district of J-K. Major Gauba laid an ambush to deny exfiltration to the terrorists. Next evening, he redeployed his ambush. Terrorists started indiscriminate firing. As the firefight progressed, Major Gauba realized that he had to get closer to the hiding terrorists. He crawled close to the terrorists and lobbed a hand grenade on the terrorists. He killed three militants.
- Sowar Vijay Kumar, Kirti Chakra (Posthumous): Sowar Vijay Kumar was part of Operation Vijay Darsu on August 2-3, 2018. He was the guide of the party that laid initial cordon and covered the most likely escape route. When terrorists opened heavy fire towards his position to break cordon; Kumar returned fire forcing terrorist to hide in the field. Sensing danger to his comrades he came out in the open and directly engaged the terrorists, to cover the movement. In the firefight, he eliminated one terrorist. Despite being injured, he crawled forward and eliminated another terrorist in hand-to-hand combat.
- Lt Col Vikrant Prasher, Shaurya Chakra: Lieutenant Colonel Vikrant Prasher of 10 Parachute Regiment (Special Forces) led a small team to eliminate a hardcore terrorist. Prasher came face to face with the
terrorists and firefight ensued with the groups of terrorists, at extremely close range. Skillfully, he eliminated the terrorist leader.
- Major Amit Kumar Dimri, Shaurya Chakra: On September 20, 2018, Major Dimri launched Operation Shokbaba on information about the presence of five terrorists in Bandipora district of J-K. The officer ensured the elimination of two escaping terrorists and trapping of the remaining three inside a cowshed. The Operation was successful under Dimri’s able guidance.
- Major Imliakum Keitzar, Shaurya Chakra: Major Keitzar successfully led Operation Rekha in Kupwara district of J-K. On June 9, 2018, Major Keitzar went in pursuit of terrorists and eliminated three of them all by himself.
- Major Rohit Lingwal, Shaurya Chakra: Major Rohit Lingwal was deployed along the LoC in J-K to conduct counter infiltration operations. He developed an intelligence network with respect to activities of terrorist outfits. Major Rohit Lingwal was able to obtain intelligence about likely activity of a hardcore terrorist. In July 2018, Lingwal took his party out towards the LoC for a long duration operation. Later, Major Lingwal crawled towards the terrorists, killing the terrorist leader.
- Captain Abhay Sharma, Shaurya Chakra: Captain Abhay Sharma, SM, was the party commander tasked to undertake patrolling against enemy Border Action Team along LoC in Jammu district. On April 21, 2018, Captain Sharma led a patrol along the LoC. On spotting movement of 10 uniformed enemy personnel carrying weapons, he deployed his party in two locations and opened fire, neutralising two enemy personnel. He directed fire of five C-90s and destroyed three bunkers. Successfully executing the ambush, Sharma recovered enemy weapon and ensured safe extrication without any casualty.
- Captain Abhinav Kumar Choudhary, Shaurya Chakra: On August 7, 2018, based on specific technical intelligence regarding the presence of an infiltrating group in Baramulla district of J-K, operational teams of 21 Rashtriya Rifles (Guards) and 9 Parachute Regiment were inducted for close cordon and surveillance of area. On being alerted regarding the movement of five terrorists, Choudhary opened heavy fire on terrorists. In the ensuing firefight, the officer closed in with the terrorists hiding behind a boulder and eliminated one of them. The officer facilitated elimination of all five foreign LeT terrorists subsequently.
- Lance Naik Ayyub Ali, Shaurya Chakra: On Sept 15, 2018, a group of five heavily armed terrorists were cordoned in a house by 9 Rashtriya Rifles Battalion. Lance Naik Ali was a part of the cordon, occupying a position
covering the most likely escape route. When terrorists tried to break the cordon by using grenades and heavy volume of fire. Due to their indiscriminate firing, two Army personnel were wounded. Lance Naik Ali came out from cover and engaged one of the escaping terrorists. He eliminated one who was later identified as an LeT terrorist. He thereafter continued to engage the remaining terrorists and enabled evacuation of wounded personnel to a safe location.
- Sepoy Ajay Kumar, Shaurya Chakra (Posthumous): On April 24, 2018, Sepoy Ajay Kumar of Ghatak Platoon was deployed as Scout in the initial search during Operation Lam Forest at Pulwama district of J-K. While the parties were approaching the area, Sepoy Kumar and Sepoy L Roshan Kom drew heavy volume of fire from terrorists. They retaliated and were engaged with grenades by the terrorists. Sepoy Kumar fired back on the terrorist, enabling his team to move to cover. He also eliminated a hardcore terrorist of JeM in South Kashmir, while sustaining gunshot wound on the head.
- Sapper Mahesh HN, Shaurya Chakra: On August 3, 2018, based on the input of the presence of terrorists, a cordon and search operation was launched at a village in Shopian district of J-K. Sapper Mahesh HN guided his team to lay a quick and timely cordon, thus cutting off all routes of the escape of terrorists. He assisted in neutralisation of one terrorist and in seriously injuring another, and forced the surviving terrorists back inside the compound. Next morning, Sapper Mahesh neutralised another terrorist. The slain terrorist was later identified as a dreaded terrorist of LeT.