President confers defence awards

ArrayNew Delhi, March 22 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday presented gallantry and service awards to defence personnel at a defence investiture ceremony here.

He awarded 16 Param Vashishta Seva Medals, two Kirti Chakras, three Uttam Seva medals, 24 Ati Vishishta Seva medals and 11 Shaurya Chakras.

Among the winners of the Kirti Chakra, the second highest peacetime decoration, is Sepoy Jagdish Chandra of Defence Security Corps, killed while fighting the attackers of the Pathankot air base.

Subedar Mahendra Singh of Parachute Regiment was also awarded Kirti Chakra for his role in an anti-terrorist operation in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Singh charged and killed terrorists at close quarters, and shot one even after being grievously injured and paralysed below the waist.

The list of Shaurya Chakra – the third highest peacetime award – awardees includes two Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel – Head Constable Mohd. Shafi Sheikh, and Constable Reyaz Ahmad Lone – but both posthumously.

The recipients also include Colonel M.N. Rai from Gorkha regiment who died fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir in January 2015, and Commander Mohan Milind Mokashi, commanding officer of INS Sumitra, who played a pivotal role in evacuating Indian nationals from Yemen under ‘Operation Rahat’.

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