As the President approved awards for 368 armed forces personnel and others on the eve of the 65th Republic Day on Saturday, Chandigarh’s Lt Col Bikramjeet Singh, who was martyred in a battle with terrorists in J&K, was picked for the Shaurya Chakra.
January 26 will mark exactly four months of his death, on September 26, 2013, while participating in an operation against insurgent terrorists at the 16 Cavalry Army Formation at Samba in Jammu, where he was posted as the second-in-command. Shaurya Chakra is third in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards after the Ashoka Chakra and Kirti Chakra.
The announcement said Lt Col Bikramjit, whose father is a retired army major, was being awarded posthumously for his “speedy, tactically sound actions, courageous and bold leadership in the face of mortal danger, and for acting swiftly without waiting for a weapon or protective gear, acting well beyond the call of duty, in the highest traditions of the Indian army”.
His family, who live in Sector 18, expressed pride at his sacrifice. His mother, Luvpreet Kaur, told HT, “His sacrifice is much larger than the medal he has got. We salute him.” In tears, she recalled that Bikramjeet was a loving and brave person. “He was writing a book on his unit, that has contributions from other officers, and now the unit has dedicated that book to him. Also, YPS Chowk in SAS Nagar will now be named after him, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has communicated to us.”
Bikramjeet was cremated in Chandigarh with full military honours a day after his death, and Major Paramjit Singh (retd), his father, lit the pyre of his only child. He left behind his parents, wife and an eight-year-old daughter. An alumnus of MLN College, Ambala, he had joined the army after passing out from the Indian Military Academy in December 1998, and had put in around 14 years of service.