A year after surviving nine bullet injuries, CRPF commandant Chetan Kumar Cheetah has once again joined active duty. His recovery was nothing short of a miracle.
Cheetah was awarded the second highest peacetime gallantry medal last Independence Day – the Kirti Chakra.
Before joining the duty, Cheetah visited the CRPF Academy in Mount Abu to give a motivational speech. He has now very happily joined the CRPF’s directorate at CGO Complex for the moment and is waiting for a posting.
For now, Cheetah will be given office related work as he has not completely recovered to go back to combat duties.
Survived 9 Bullets:
Chetan was the Commanding Officer (CO) of CRPF’s 45th battalion in Kashmir Valley when he was hit by 9 bullets during an encounter. The fatal gunbattles against terrorists occur in Hajin area of Bandipora on February 14 last year in North Kashmir.
The bullets hit his brain, right eye, abdomen, both arms, left hand and the buttock. He was admitted to AIIMS Delhi for almost two months and was discharged on April 5, 2017. He remained in a coma for almost 1.5 months before gaining consciousness.
He was awarded the Kirti Chakra for showing rare courage and valour in service and was lauded by home minister Rajnath Singh, Army chief General Bipin Rawat, and chiefs of other forces.
The same encounter also claimed lives of three Indian soldiers.
Soon after his recovery, Cheetah expressed desire of going back to the combat role and joining CoBRA as soon as he can. CoBRA or Commando Battalion for Resolute Action is a specialised unit of CRPF that is proficient in guerrilla tactics and jungle warfare that fights Maoists in the red belt area.
At the Headquarters, he donned a Khaki uniform and referred to it as his “second skin”. He was seen wearing an eye-patch on his right eye, and metal glasses. He said that he is proud to resume his duty again.
Referring to the situation in J&K, he said that it will take some time to settle down. A soldier can only do that much. There has to be a strong political will.
Chetan would need another year or two to completely recover. His unquestionable zeal to work for the nation inspires the youth joining the forces.
He said, “I want youngsters to give 100 percent to the country, that’s what I have done. The duty which I had, I could have escaped, but instead, I faced the bullets.”
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