Kochi

3 gallantry awardees do the Navy proud

Gallantry award winners Cdr. Vikrant Singh, Cmde. Varun Singh, and Capt. Milind Mohan Mokashi at INS Dronacharya, Fort Kochi, on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The valour and indomitable spirit of three Naval officers who won gallantry awards - two who dared a fusillade of bullets from terrorists, and the third who commanded a ship which braved intense shelling to rescue the nationals of 40 countries from war-torn Middle East, are among the motivational stories that are being celebrated, as India readies to celebrate the golden jubilee of the country’s decisive victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war. All the three officers are serving at the Naval base in Kochi at present.

Naval vessels bombarding the Karachi harbour on the night of December 4-5, 1971, was among the incidents that turned the tide in India’s favour.

In 2000, Cmde. Varun Singh, then a Lieutenant, was the leader of Navy’s Marine Commando (Marcos) Force that was deployed for special operations in OP Rakshak in Jammu and Kashmir. On May 3 that year, his team killed four terrorists belonging to the hard core Al Badr gang. Though he was severely wounded, he returned to service with a bang after recuperating, despite doctors being sceptical of reviving him. He was awarded the Shaurya Chakra.

Another Shaurya Chakra awardee, Capt. Milind Mohan Mokashi from Karnataka, as Commanding Officer of INS Sumitra, was leading anti-piracy operations when it was diverted for “Op Rahat” to evacuate Indian and foreign nationals from worn-torn Yemen in March-April 2015.

He sailed the ship safely out of harbour in a navigationally unsafe channel, despite shelling and bombardment all around. His team evacuated 1,621 people, including 961 Indians, a few U.S. and Pakistani nationals from different ports of Yemen.

Cdr. Vikrant Singh, a deep-sea diver with Marcos, had been at the forefront of several major operations in which a total of five hardcore terrorists were eliminated in J and K.

In February 2019, he led an operation which led to the elimination of two LeT terrorists.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 8:43:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/3-gallantry-awardees-do-the-navy-proud/article33235105.ece

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