President presents gallantry awards to defence personnel

HONOURING BRAVE ONES: President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh interact with the wives and mothers of martyrs and gallantry award winners during the Defence Investiture Ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday Photo: Shanker Chakravarty   | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty

President Pratibha Patil on Monday decorated personnel of the armed services with awards that included the Kirti Chakra and the Shaurya Chakra, during the Defence Investiture Ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Indu Sharma, mother of Captain Deepak Sharma of the Corps of Signals, who lost his life fighting militants in Jammu and Kashmir in March last year, received the Kirti Chakra amid loud applause from an audience that included Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, among others.

Major Rahul Gurung (Corps of Engineers/Assam Rifles) and Captain Vikrant Ajit Deshmukh (Madras) were also awarded the Kirti Chakra for fighting insurgents and terrorists in Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir respectively.

The five personnel who were posthumously awarded the Shaurya Chakra included Major Deepak Yadav and Major Nitish Roy, who were killed during the terrorist attack on the Indian mission in Kabul in February last.

Watching Major Yadav's wife, Jyoti Yadav, and Major Roy's wife, Major Seema Mishra, receive the gallantry medal was Major Madhumita Mitali, who recently became the first woman Army officer to receive the gallantry Sena Medal for her exemplary role in rescuing her colleagues in Kabul after the February 26 attack.

Guardsman Krishan Kumar (Brigade of Guards), Sepoy Ravi Kant (Dogra), and Sepoy Sangat Singh (Mahar/Rashtriya Rifles) were also awarded the Shaurya Chakra posthumously.

Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, Chief of the Army Staff General V.K. Singh, and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma were also present.

The President also awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, the Uttam Yuddh Seva Medal and the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal to senior officers for their distinguished service.

After the ceremony, which lasted an hour, the President and the Prime Minister interacted with the award winners' next of kin.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 3:25:53 PM |

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