President Pratibha Patil will on Monday confer Ashok Chakra, India’s highest peace-time gallantry medal, on 11 security personnel, including six men who died fighting terrorists who attacked Mumbai on 26/11.
Besides Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare, posthumous Ashok Chakras will be awarded to three Mumbai policemen — Additional Commissioner of police Ashok Kamte, Inspector Vijay Salaskar and Assistant Sub-Inspector Tukaram Omble. National Security Guard commandos Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and Havildar Gajender Singh, killed during the operations to rescue hostages and flush out terrorists, also get the honour. A combo picture of awardees of Ashok Chakra 2009
In all, 1,112 personnel have been awarded; 39 policemen from Mumbai were honoured for their bravery during 26/11.
The families, struggling to deal with the loss, are glad the sacrifice has been appreciated. “I feel happy. His sacrifice has been recognised by the government,” Vasundhara Deo, Hemant Karkare’s mother-in-law told HT.
“It is a great moment that my son is going to be honoured with one of the highest gallantry awards of the nation… Even my grandson has decided to join the police and I am going to encourage him accomplish his goal,” said Ashok Kamte’s father, Col (retd) Maruti Kamte. B'wood on Padma list
“I am very proud of my father. He gave up his life fighting terrorists. Receiving Ashok Chakra on his behalf will be a great honour for all of us,” said Vaishali Omble, daughter of Omble who died in the gun-battle at Girgaum.
The medal will also be conferred on Col Jojan Thomas and Havildar Bahadur Singh Bohra of the Indian Army, as well as Delhi Police Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma.
As many as 671 personnel have been awarded police medals -- President’s Police Medals for Distinguished Service (71), President’s Police Medals for Gallantry (15), Police Medals for Gallantry (107), including A.P. Maheshwari and H.K. Lohia of J&K police and Police Medals for Meritorious Service (478).
In all, 428 armed forces personnel have been awarded gallantry and other defence decorations. These include 13 Kirti Chakras, 30 Shaurya Chakras, 91 Sena Medals (Gallantry), among others.
Thirteen prison personnel have been awarded President’s Correctional Service Medals.