In a first-of-its-kind, an Army doctor was today conferred the highest peacetime gallantry award - Ashok Chakra - posthumously for fighting militants barehanded during an attack on Indians in Kabul last year.
Major Laishram Jyotin Singh is the first officer from Army Medical Corps (AMC) to receive the award. His brother collected the award from President Pratibha Patil at the Republic Day parade here.
A resident of Manipur, Major Singh was posted at Indian Embassy in Kabul. He had joined his duty only three days before the attack on February 16 last year when a couple of terrorists stormed into Indian residential complex firing indiscriminately and lobbing grenades.
One of the terrorists had already blew himself up at the main entrance, killing three guards and making way for others to enter the complex.
The other terrorist targeted a room in which five unarmed officers had taken shelter. Hearing their shouts, Major Singh crawled out of the debris and charged barehanded on the suicide bomber pinning him down to the ground. Unable to escape the militant detonated his explosive laden vest killing himself as well as Major Singh.
The terrorists killed total 16 people in two-hour long encounter, but the attack failed soon after Major Singh neutralised the second suicide bomber.