Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The four Indians killed in the suicide attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul have been recommended for the Kirti Chakra, the nation’s second highest award for gallantry during peacetime.

A committee comprising top Defence Ministry officials, including the Defence Secretary, besides the service chiefs, has forwarded their names to President Pratibha Patil, said Ministry sources. The slain Indians were the Defence Attache, Brigadier R.D. Mehta, senior Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer V.V. Rao and two Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel, Roop Singh and Ajai Pathania.

This will be the first time an IFS officer will receive a gallantry award. In fact Mr. Rao was the second Foreign Service official to die in violence. The first was Ravindra Mhatre, who was kidnapped in 1984 in Britain and killed by Kashmiri separatists.

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