Mansa boy to get bravery award for foiling bank robbery | india | Hindustan Times
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Mansa boy to get bravery award for foiling bank robbery

11-year-old boy from Punjab's Mansa district to receive bravery award from President Pratibha Patil on Republic Day.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2011 23:23 IST
Bharat Khanna

The shower of stones and bullets did not deter him. Instead, 11-year-old Gurjeevan himself picked up stones and hurled them at the armed men trying to rob a bank at Phaphde Bhai Ke village in south Punjab's Mansa district in February last year.

He continued to retaliate with stones, keeping the robbers at bay till the arrival of other villagers, who overpowered them.

For his extraordinary display of courage in foiling the bank robbery and playing a pivotal role in nabbing the armed robbers, Gurjeevan will receive a national bravery award from President Pratibha Patil on Republic Day.

The boy, who works as a domestic help at this young age, was honoured by the then Faridkot range DIG Jatindra Jain in February.

"When I saw armed men overpowering bank guard Jang Singh at the bank gate, I raised an alarm and started throwing stones at the robbers," the boy said, recalling his daring act. The robbers returned the volley of stones.

"Then, one of the robbers opened fire, but I managed to escape and continued to throw stones at them."

The robbers, taken aback by this unexpected resistance, retreated, giving sufficient time to villages to foil the robbery attempt.

While awarding Gurjeevan Rs 10,000 and a certificate, Jain had asked the village sarpanch to educate the children. Meanwhile, his name was recommended for the President's bravery award given annually on January 26.

Gurjeevan lost his father at the age of three, and his mother is mentally-challenged. He and two sisters help with household work to get income for the family.

Deputy commissioner Kumar Rahul, who is also chairman of the child welfare council, said, "We were impressed by his bravery, and sent a request for an award to the child welfare council, Punjab and the Indian council for child welfare. Now, by being selected for this award, he has brought honour for himself and his district."

Senior superintendent of police Hardyal Singh Mann said the force would take the initiative to "provide for his education and a career in the police".

Gurjeevan will be honoured along with 22 other brave children on Republic Day.