Three officials of the Fire and Rescue Services, who displayed exemplary courage while fighting the fire at the heritage building ‘Kalas Mahal' here about 10 days ago, were given this year's Anna Medal for Gallantry.
While K. Anbalagan, Leading Fireman of the Teynampet Fire Station, died in action, N. Priya, Divisional Fire Officer of the Chennai Central Division, and R. Murugan, Station Fire Officer of the Ashok Nagar Fire Station, were injured.
At the 63rd Republic Day celebration on the Marina on Thursday, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa handed over the medal to Sharmila, daughter of Anbalagan; S. Ravichandran, Ms. Priya's husband; and Kripavathi, Mr. Murugan's wife.
From this year, the government has enhanced the prize amount for the medal from Rs.25,000 to Rs. 1 lakh.
The Chief Minister presented the medal to two more recipients, S. Harish Kumar and S. Ravi, both from Tiruppur.
Mr. Kumar, a mechanic, on seeing two masked men robbing Rs.13.7 lakh from Canara Bank, Appachi Nagar, in February last year, chased and caught them with the help of the public and handed them over to the police. He continued his chase even though one of the robbers inflicted a wound on his left shoulder with a knife.
Mr. Ravi, an ironmaster with a firm, helped Mr. Kumar in nabbing the robbers by dashing his motorcycle against the robbers.
Apart from the prize amount, a medal and a certificate each were given to all recipients.
Ms. Jayalalithaa also gave away the Kottai Ameer Communal Harmony award to J. Rajamohamad of Pudukottai district in recognition of his services towards promoting communal harmony. The award carried a cash prize of Rs.25,000, a medal and a certificate. Four police personnel were given the Gandhi Adigal Police medal for commendable work in curbing illicit liquor. They are S. Jeyakumar, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Prohibition Enforcement (PE) Wing, Chennai; S.R. Senthilkumar, Additional Superintendent, Crime (in-charge), PE Wing, Krishnagiri district; D. Sampathkumar, Special Sub-Inspector, PE Wing, Thoppur Police Station; and P. Chinnamadhan of the PE Wing, Pennagaram police station.
The last two stations come under Dharmapuri district.