6 Army personnel awarded Shaurya Chakra, 2 IAF pilots killed in friendly fire get Vayu Sena medals

President Ram Nath Kovind approved six Shaurya Chakras, 107 Sena Medals and four Vayu Sena medals for gallantry ahead of the 71st Republic Day, defence officials said on Saturday.

He also approved, five Nao Sena Medals (gallantry), four Bar to Sena Medals (devotion to duty), 36 Sena Medals (devotion to duty), eight Nao Sena Medals (devotion to duty), one Bar to Vayu Sena Medal (devotion to duty) and 13 Vayu Sena Medals (devotion to duty).

Naib Subedar Sombir, who laid down his life fighting terrorists in an operation in Jammu and Kashmir in February last year, was posthumously awarded the Shaurya Chakra, officials said.

Besides Sombir, Lt. Col Jyoti Lama, Maj. Konjenbham Bijendra Singh, Naib Subedhar Narender Singh, Naik Naresh Kumar and Karmdeo Oraon were also the recipients of the award.

Shaurya Chakra is awarded to the armed forces for displaying extraordinary gallantry.

The President also approved Vayu-Sena Medal to Squadron Leaders Ninad Mandavgane and Siddharth Vashisht, pilots of the ill-fated Mi17 V5 helicopter brought down in a case of friendly fire in February last year.

A surface-to-air missile of the Indian Air Force brought down the chopper in Kashmir”s Budgam on the morning of February 27 following the failure of command and control.

The incident took place in the midst of the Indian and Pakistani fighter jets being engaged in fierce aerial combat in Nowshera, a day after India”s air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Balakot in Pakistan.

Sena Medal (gallantry) was also posthumously approved for Havildar Baljeet, Naik Sandeep, Naik Buta Singh, Naik Kuldeep Singh and Rifleman Anil Kumar Jaiswal.

The President also approved 30 Param Vishisht Sena Medals (PVSM) for 30 top armed forces personnel, including Lt. Gen Ranbir Singh, the Commander of the Northern Army Command and Lt. Gen. Anil Chauhan, the Commander of the Army’s Eastern Command.

Lt. Gen S K Saini, the Vice Chief of the Army, G Ashok Kumar, the Vice Chief of the Navy and Harjit Singh Arora, the Vice Chief of the Air Force were also awarded PVSMs.

Kovind also approved four Uttam Yudh Seva Meda (UYSM) to four top Army generals including Lt. Gen. Y K Joshi, who will soon take charge of the Northern Army Command.

Twenty personnel from Army and Air Headquarters have been awarded ‘Mention-in-Despatches’ by the President, the officials said.

(With the inputs of PTI).

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