Tuesday 26 July 2016
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Soldier Awarded Shaurya Chakra for Killing Pakistan Army Troops

Lance Naik Bharat Kumar Chhetri has been awarded the Shaurya Chakra, the third highest peacetime gallantry award, for killing two members of Pakistan's notorious Border Action Team along the Line of Control (LoC).

IAF's Wg Cdr Huvey Upadhyay was given the award for saving lives of two Army pilots whose ALH Dhruv helicopter had crashed in the Siachen Glacier along with two Navy officers Lt Cdrs Manoranjan Kumar and Kapish Muwal who died while saving the crew of INS Sindhuratna submarine in February.

Chhetri foiled a planned attack by BAT including four terrorists and as many Pakistan Army regulars on Indian Army's tactically significant Abdul Hut post along the LoC on September 5 last year.

"The column was detected through a Hand Held Thermal Imager and tracked till it reached within 150 meters. Chhetri manning the Rocket Launcher, fired a high explosive rocket at the Pakistani column, striking near the centre and it immediately scattered," his citation said.

The soldier sensed that the column could escape and disregarding the personal danger to himself, maneuvered to a better firing position under effective enemy fire.

"His second round also found its mark and scattered the group which was not seen thereafter and ensured that the enemy's raid was foiled with one foreign terrorist and one Pakistani Havildar killed which was confirmed by own intelligence agencies," it said.

The Pakistani BAT teams are notorious for their role in mutilating bodies of two Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir in January and then eliminating five more soldiers in August in 2013, creating tensions between the two countries. 

Wg Cdr Upadhayaya was on an air maintenance sortie when he was asked to look for a missing Army ALH Dhruv chopper in the Siachen Glacier.

"He located the wreckage of the crashed helicopter at an altitude of 17, 600 feet but the strong winds prevalent at that time made landing the helicopter in the area an extremely difficult task and even a delay of five minutes could have closed the weather window of opportunity for rescue," his citation says.

Upadhayaya landed his helicopter in between the crevasses near the crash site, where he was constantly under enemy observation.

"Throughout this operation, he was under constant threat of enemy observation... Through his valiant act under trying and near impossible conditions, he saved the lives of two army pilots and accentuated the spirit of jointmanship," it said.

Subedar Prakash Chand was awarded the Shaurya Chakra posthumously for his gallant action during an attack on his patrol by Pakistan troops on the LoC on the night of October 28, 2013.

Rifleman Prem Bahadur Magar of the Gurka Rifles was given the Shaurya Chakra for killing a terrorist in unarmed combat on May 9 while laying an ambush at a known infiltration route of terrorists.

The soldier thought one of the terrorists to be his buddy, approached him but was fired upon by the militant.

"Realising his mistake, Magar caught the muzzle on the terrorist's weapon as the terrorist opened fire. A hand to hand combat ensued between the two and Rifleman Prem then punched the terrorist on his face and pushed him to the Nalla. Realising that the terrorist might escape, he threw a grenade on to the fleeing terrorist which injured him on his leg and prevented him from escaping and facilitated his elimination at later stage," his citation says. 

Major Manohar Singh Bhati of 31 Rashtriya Rifles, which comprises the teams of the elite Para (Special Forces) of the Army, has been awarded the Shaurya Chakra for leading an operation in which five LeT terrorists were killed and its network was destroyed in Lolab in Jammu and Kashmir.

Leading a search and destroy operation in Dardpura area of Jammu and Kashmir, Bhati meticulously planned the operation and established contact with a terrorist hideout deep in the jungles, in waist-deep snowbound conditions.

He personally killed two terrorists in a daring operation and forced terrorists to run into Army's ambushes and led to the elimination of a total of five hardcore foreign terrorists and destroyed the Lashkar-e-Toiba network in Lolab.

Maj Abhsishek Kumar, Maj Satnam Singh, Maj Vishal Singh Raghav and Naik Ansaigra Basumatary are the other recipients of the Shaurya Chakra on the occasion of Independence Day.

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OUTLOOK 15 August, 2014
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