HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

Ashok Chakra for gallant major, Shaurya Chakra for INS Sindhuratna bravehearts

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 15, 2014
First Published: 00:01 IST(15/8/2014) | Last Updated: 00:04 IST(15/8/2014)

A 32-year-old fearless major, who was killed in a counter-terrorist in Jammu and Kashmir in April, will be posthumously awarded the country's highest peacetime gallantry, Ashok Chakra, on Independence Day.

Major Mukund Varadarajan, then serving in 44 Rashtriya Rifles, displayed outstanding gallantry and leadership during the operation in which three terrorists were killed in south Kashmir's Shopian area.

Another soldier killed in the same operation, Sepoy Vikram, will be posthumously awarded the Shaurya Chakra, the third-highest peacetime gallantry award. 

Also among the awardees are two naval officers who sacrificed their own lives trying to save fellow submariners and fighting fire onboard INS Sindhuratna in February.

Lieutenant Commanders Manoran Kumar and Kapish Singh Muwal will be posthumously awarded the Shaurya Chakra. Their courage ensured the survival of 94 crew members and safety of the submarine.

"They limited the damage area preventing the spread of fire to the battery compartment, obviating an extremely dangerous possibility of damage to entire submarine," a navy spokesman said.

An IAF chopper pilot is among the 12 Shaurya Chakra awardees from the armed forces. Wing Commander Huvey Upadhyaya located the wreckage of a crashed army helicopter in Siachen area in March and saved the lives of two army pilots in extremely challenging circumstances.

President’s medal for CBI’s coal-scam probe’s chief investigator Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’s Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Ravi Kant, who leads the agency’s Supreme-Court monitored probe into alleged irregularities in coal block allocations during 1993-2009, has been awarded the President’s police medal for Meritorious Service. Ravi Kant, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, is reckoned to be a hard-working, focussed investigator.

Along with him, 23 others CBI officials were awarded either the President’s police medal for Meritorious Service or police medal for Distinguished Service. Among the awardees are two other IPS officials, joint director Rajeev Kumar Sharma who supervised probe into the Rs. 45, 000 crore real-estate scam involving the Pearls group of companies and DIG Ratn Sanjay.

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