Major Laishram Jyotin Singh, who sacrificed his life in the February terror attack in Kabul this year, has been awarded the Ashok Chakra, the highest peacetime gallantry award announced on Saturday, the eve of 64th Independence Day.
The Ministry of Defence also announced the Kirti Chakra posthumously to Captain Davinder Singh Jass and Superintendent of Police Vinod Kumar Choubey.
It is probably the first time that the Ashok Chakra has been awarded to an officer for an act of bravery while on a foreign land.
Major Jyotin Singh, 38, from Manipur, was commissioned in the Army Medical Corps in 2003 and selected to serve on deputation to the Indian Medical Mission in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Barely 13 days into the assignment, the young officer sacrificed his life after a guarded residential compound, where the medical mission personnel and officers from education branch were based, came under terrorist attack on February 26. The terrorists blasted the place with explosives and lobbed hand-grenades.
On hearing the shouts of the five officers, Major Jytoin Singh crawled out from under the debris of his room and charged with bare hands at an armed terrorist and pinned him down to ensure that the terrorists could no longer lob more grenades or direct fire at the officers cornered in a burning room. He continued to grapple with the terrorist and did not let him go till the latter panicked and detonated his suicide vest, resulting in their instantaneous death,
His sacrifice saved the lives of two officers, and four paramedics and two Afghan civilians, who were still within the compound.
Captain Davinder Singh Jass of the special forces, lost his life on February 23, 2010 in Chinkipur while saving those of two of his colleagues and killing a foreign terrorist in a hand-to-hand combat despite having received grave injuries.
Vinod Kumar Choubey, Superintendent of Police, Rajnandgoan, Chhattisgarh, was also awarded the Kirti Chakra posthumously. He was killed on July 12, 2009 while battling the naxalites in Manpur area.