Over 650 security personnel have been named for gallantry and other awards this year to honour their exceptional bravery and distinguished services in protecting India from terrorists and criminals. Eight lost their lives.
Binod Rai, 21, of Sikkim, killed in West Bengal in an encounter with the Naxals in December 2006, was among them. Rai, was less than a year into his job with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), had elderly parents, two sisters and a brother to support back home in Sikkim.
Rai was at the forefront of the counterattack and went down fighting. Two Naxal leaders were killed in the operation.
A home ministry spokesman said Rai was among the 13 personnel awarded the President’s Police Medals for Gallantry. Deen Bandhu Pal of the Border Security Force was another. He was killed during patrolling the Raishyabari border in Dhalai district by members of the outlawed Biswamohan Debbarma faction of the National Liberation Front of Tripura.
Others awarded the President’s Police Medals for Gallantry include constable Manukonda Venkata Nageshwara Rao (posthumously) and inspector Tanga Ramakrishna of Andhra Pradesh Police, DSP Shalley Singh, sergeant constable Farooq Ahmad and constable Mohammad Iqbal of Jammu and Kashmir Police, head constable Mohd. Aslam Chichi, constable D. Boro and Deen Bandhu Pal (posthumously) of BSF, sub-inspector Kaptan Boipai and constable Hoshiyar Singh of the Central Industrial Security Force and constable Jagdish Patel and inspector Gopal Prasad Singh of the CRPF.
The home ministry spokesman said 674 personnel have been awarded police medals on Republic Day this year. President’s Police Medals for Distinguished Service have been awarded to 72, Police Medals for Gallantry to 111 personnel and Police Medals for Meritorious Service have been awarded to 478 personnel.