President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday awarded Shaurya Chakras to the officers who took part in the daring surgical strike across the Line of Control last year. He also awarded the Shaurya Chakra posthumously to Lt Col Niranjan Ek, who died while recovering IED from the bodies of Pathankot terrorists in January 2016.
As per the citation against Shaurya Chakra awardees, Major Rajat Chandra killed two terrorists during the surgical strike, while Captain Ashutosh Kumar eliminated four terrorists. Both belong to 4 Para Special Forces, which took part in the surgical strike in September last year.
Major Deepak Upadhyay and Paratrooper Abdul Qayum, both of 9 Para Special Forces, were also awarded Shaurya Chakras for their role in the surgical strike.
Captain Ashutosh Kumar was part of the sub squad, which was tasked to close into the terrorist’s hideout in Jammu and Kashmir and carry out the assault. He sneaked in close to the hideout using the cover of darkness and folds of ground and positioned himself in a concealed location. He brought down accurate fire and neutralized two terrorists. After the initial firefight, his squad repositioned to cover the track leading to the village from the hideout. He kept a close watch on the target to prevent any terrorist escape and reinforcement in/out of the area. During the ongoing firefight, he saw two terrorists escaping from the target. He directed his buddy to bring down accurate Grenade Launcher fire on their escape route allowing him to intercept and neutralize both the terrorists at close quarter. With his decisive thinking, astute resolve and courage beyond call of duty, the officer eliminated four terrorists and ensured no terrorist escaped from the hideout location. Captain Ashutosh Kumar displayed audacity in face of fire, indomitable resolve, dauntless courage and extraordinary valour.
Major Deepak Kumar Upadhyay was the leader of the troop which executed an impeccable operation against a terrorist hideout in Jammu and Kashmir.
Having sited the Support Group, Major Deepak Kumar Upadhyay led an assault party for a daring assault on the terrorist hideout. Despite heavy retaliation by terrorists, he continued engaging them while motivating his troops to destroy the hideout. Inspired by his conspicuous gallantry, grit and raw aggression, his men, despite being outnumbered, attacked the terrorists with renewed aggression, stunning them into a state of psychological paralysis. Having successfully accomplished the mission, he ensured a swift disengagement for his troops. Major Deepak Kumar Upadhyay displayed awe-inspiring courage, leadership, decisiveness, and act of gallantry under fire while ensuring destruction of a terrorist hideout and inflicting heavy casualties to the terrorists, without any casualties to his troops.
Major Rajat Chandra was tasked to undertake close surveillance of the terrorist’s hideout in Jammu and Kashmir. The information gained by his squad proved decisive in planning and effective destruction of the terrorist’s hideout. Subsequently, the officer led the assault group which was tasked to destroy the heavily fortified hideout. Displaying nerves of steel and indomitable spirit, he closed in 75 meter of the terrorist’s hideout and destroyed it thereby killing two terrorists. During the action his squad came under effective automatic fire from automatic weapons located nearby. Sensing danger to his squad, he immediately changed his position by crawling under terrorist’s fire and closed onto the terrorist’s position and eliminated one more terrorist silencing the automatic weapon. Major Rajat Chandra exhibited inspirational combat leadership, raw courage, dogged determination and selfless devotion to duty in the service of the nation.
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