Nineteen soldiers of the 4 and 9 Para, the special forces’ units which undertook the daring cross-border surgical strike across LoC, have been awarded gallantry medals, including a Kirti Chakra, while their commanding officers have been given Yudh Sewa Medal.
Major Rohit Suri of 4 Para, who led one of the teams across the LoC targeting terrorists’ launch pads, was awarded the Kirti Chakra, second highest peacetime gallantry award, on the eve of the Republic Day.
Havildar Prem Bahadur Resmi Magar of the Gorkha Rifles got the Kirti Chakra posthumously.
Col Kapil Yadav, commanding officer of 9 Para and Col Harpreet Sandhu, Commanding Officer of 4 Para, were awarded the Yudh Sewa Medal, one of India’s military decorations awarded to mark distinguished service during war time is awarded for a high degree of distinguished service in an operational content, including times of war, conflict, or hostilities and may also be awarded posthumously.
The award is the wartime equivalent of the Vishisht Seva Medal, which is a decoration for peace time distinguished service.
Five personnel from the two para units also got Shaurya Chakra while 13 got Sena Medal (Gallantry).
The Army conducted surgical strikes on terrorist launchpads across the Line of Control in September last year, after a terrorist attack on an army camp in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir claimed the lives of 19 jawans.
The strikes were widely hailed by as a strong retaliation, and the Army’s new chief General Bipin Rawat has said it is prepared to use the tactic again if needed.