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Army Major awarded Ashok Chakra
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 14
Major Mukund Vardarajan, who killed two terrorists in Kashmir before he was shot dead in April this year, has been awarded the Ashok Chakra, the nation's highest peace-time gallantry award.

Two Navy officers — Commander Manoranjan Kumar and Lt Commander Kapish Singh Muwal, who died saving the lives several of their colleagues on board the submarine INS Sindhuratna, have been awarded the Shaurya Chakra, the third highest gallantry award.

President Pranab Mukherjee also conferred Shaurya Chakras to 10 others, including nine from the Army and one from the Indian Air Force (IAF). Another 41 Army personnel have been awarded the Sena Medal for gallantry while a Navy officer has been awarded the Nao Sena Medal and two IAF pilots got the Vayu Sena Medal.

Major Mukund Varadarajan, who was from the Rajput Regiment and tasked with the Rashtriya Rifles deployed in Jammu and Kashmir, led a small team into a house where terrorist had been holed up during the general elections. During the gunfight, Major Mukund Varadarajan killed two terrorists. The Major, who was also injured in the gunfight, died on way to the hospital.

His ‘buddy’ during the close quarter fight Sepoy Vikram Singh has been posthumously awarded the Shaurya Chakra. He hailed from Rewari in Haryana.

The Navy officers have been awarded for saving the lives of 94 persons who were on board the INS Sindhuratna when it was 100 km off the Mumbai cost. The two ordered evacuation of 13 personnel to safer areas after smoke was noticed on the submarine. “Their exemplary effort to douse the flames in hazardous conditions was beyond the call of duty, which ensured the survival of 94 crew members and the safety of submarine,” their citation said.

In the IAF, Wing Commander Huvey Upadhyaya has been awarded the Shaurya Chakra for saving the lives of two Army aviation pilots from Siachen Glacier. The copter had crashed at an altitude of 17, 600 ft. The terrain of the crash site did not have the space to land a copter. Wing Commander Upadhaya hovered the helicopter over soft snow and evacuated the two injured Army pilots even as he was under constant threat of enemy observation.

The others to get the Shaurya Chakra include Major Abhishek Kumar of the Punjab Regiment, Major Manohar Singh Bhati, Parachute Regiment, Major Satnam Singh, Corps of Engineers, Major Vishal Singh Raghav, Rajputana Rifles, Subedar Prakash Chand, Kumaon Regiment (posthumous), Naik Ansaigra Basumatary, 5th Battalion the Assam Regiment, Lance Naik Bharat Kumar Chhetri, 3/1 Gorkha Rifles and Rifleman Prem Bahadur, 2/4 Battalion of the Gorkha Rifles.





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