Three Army doctors have been honoured with the Sena Medal for gallantry for taking on terrorists and saving the lives of their colleagues during an attack on Indians in Kabul last year.
A total of 114 Army personnel have been awarded the Sena Medal for gallantry on Independence Day for their acts of valour in different operations across the country.
Lieutenant Colonel Sanjiv Kumar Kakkar of the Army Medical Corps was heading the Indian medical mission in Kabul when the terrorists carried out a suicide attack on the hotel where the Indian team was staying.
“After the heavy suicide attack, Kakkar, though unarmed, displayed exceptional bravery, rushed into a hail of bullets to take on the terrorist and herded his colleagues to safety.
The terrorist lobbed a grenade setting the complex on fire and blocked the exit,” an Army release said.
“The officer ran through the advancing flames, took his colleagues with him and jumped through the window, himself sustaining severe burn injuries and a splinter injury in the right leg,” it said.
In the same attack, Major Sumit Arora, a medical specialist, came under fire as a terrorist lobbed a grenade at his room setting it on fire.
“Arora, totally unarmed, decided to brave the fire and confront the enemy bare handedly. He came out of the room jumping through the window running through the fire towards the terrorists outside,” the Army said.
“Arora sustained severe burns and shrapnel injuries all over his body but not bothered for his life, he looked after his colleagues and provided them with emergency life and limb saving medical care till medical help arrived,” the Army said.
Major Sibashish Metia was awarded the Sena Medal for saving the lives of three of his colleagues in the hotel.
“He led the members through the blazing inferno and enemy fire without caring for his own safety. Without considering his surgical career he opened the doors by opening the hot metallic knobs with bare hands, suffering severe burn injuries to both hands, face, chest and inhalation lung injury but saved the lives of three members,” the release said.
For fighting militants bare—handedly in the same attack, Major Laishram Jyotin Singh was posthumously conferred the highest peacetime gallantry award ‘Ashok Chakra’ on Republic Day this year.
Major Atul Garje and Major Bhanu Chander have been awarded the Sena Medal posthumously for manoeuvring their helicopter away from civilian habitat and ensuring no loss of civilian life on February 2 this year.
“As part of an exercise to rehearse Indian Army war plans, soon after take off from Army Aviation Base, Nasik, the pilots experienced an aircraft emergency over a built-up area, necessitating an immediate force landing,” the Army said.
“They manoeuvred the helicopter away from civilian habitat and ensured no loss to civilian life and property. In the process of recovery, the helicopter impacted the ground and crash landed which resulted in the loss of their lives,” it said.