Major Laishram Jyotin Singh, an unarmed army doctor serving in Kabul, who took on a suicide bomber and killed him, has posthumously been awarded the highest peacetime gallantry award, Ashoka Chakra.
On February 16, 2010, suicide attackers stormed an Indian residential complex in the heart of the Afghan capital, housing mostly army officials. One of the terrorists blew himself up at the gates of the complex, killing three guards, as others made their way inside.
The attackers fired indiscriminately and hurled grenades, going from one room to the other. Sixteen people were killed in the two-hour assault.
The terrorists lobbed a grenade on a room in which five unarmed officers had taken shelter. The fire on the roof engulfed a bathroom where five more officers had taken refuge.
On hearing their shouts, the 37-year-old major crawled out of the debris and charged at one of the suicide bombers and pinned him to the floor.
Unable to escape from Major Singh’s grip, the attacker panicked and detonated his explosive-laden vest, killing himself and the officer who had arrived there just three days back. Singh, from Manipur, was commissioned into the Army Medical Corps in February 2003.
President Pratibha Patil on Saturday approved 114 gallantry awards, including two Kirti Chakras, two Bar to Shaurya Chakras (being awarded to the same person for the second time), 19 Shaurya Chakras, two Bar to Sena Medals (gallantry) and 80 Sena Medals (gallantry), three Nao Sena Medals (gallantry) and five Vayu Sena Medals (gallantry).
The Shaurya Chakra awardees include Major Deepak Yadav and Major Nitesh Rao who were killed in the February 16 attack. Both officers were deployed in Kabul as part of the Indian Army’s English language training team. The Shaurya Chakra is the third highest peacetime gallantry award.
Captain Davinder Singh Juss of the Parachute Regiment and Vinod Kumar Choubey who was Superintendent of Police, Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh, have been awarded the second highest peacetime gallantry award, Kirti Chakra. Juss killed a foreign terrorist in February 2010 during an encounter in J&K and saved two colleagues.
Choubey fought against more than 300 Naxalites who had attacked an outpost in Rajnandangaon district in July 2009. He saved scores of policemen.
Two tracker dogs from The army’s dog unit were also awarded Chief of Army Staff Commendation Card for CI cops.