Three officers, including an Indian Air Force officer who lost his life during a relief operation in Uttarakhand, a naval officer who sailed non-stop around the world, and an Army Major who was martyred during a terrorist attack, were presented the Kirti Chakra, the second highest peacetime gallantry award by President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday.
A Civil Engineer, Manish, of the Border Roads Organisation who lost his life while saving his three colleagues in an accident in Assam and a young IAF jawan who saved a village from burning were among the 10 personnel who were awarded the Shaurya Chakra.
Wg Cdr Darryl Castelino received the award posthumously for his role in Operation Rahat in Uttarakhand where his Mi-17V5 chopper crashed with 20 personnel on board after he had helped rescue more than 80 people. His co-pilot, Officer K. Praveen, who also lost his life in the crash, was given the Shaurya Chakra for his service.
Major Mahesh Kumar of the Punjab Regiment got the award for his gallant action in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir, where he eliminated four terrorists in three separate incidents.
Cdr Abhilash Tomy received the Kirti Chakra for completing world voyage on his sail ship non-stop without any external support in 151 days. The Shaurya Chakra awardees’ list also includes Lt. Col. Bikramjeet Singh, who lost his life in a suicide attack on 16 Cavalry Unit at Samba near Jammu.
Rifleman Ran Bahadur Gurung of 5/5 Gorkha Rifles, who lost his life fighting a group of terrorists in the Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir, was awarded the Shaurya Chakra posthumously. Army ADG (Public Information) Major General Bobby Cherian Matthews was awarded the Ati Vishist Seva Medal for distinguished service.