Rukhsana Kouser and her brother Ajaz Ahmed, who overpowered and killed an LeT terrorist in Rajouri district last September, will be awarded the country’s second-highest peacetime gallantry award, Kirti Chakra by President Pratibha Patil on Republic Day.
Havildar Rajesh Kumar killed three terrorists during an operation in Kupwara district last August, will be posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra, the country’s highest peacetime gallantry award.
Kumar, of 11 Rajputana Rifles, was leading a section of Ghatak commandos when terrorists opened heavy fire. He dashed into the undergrowth and closed in on terrorist to get a clean shot. Two of the militants engaged Kumar’s commandos.
Kumar braved fire and charged at the second terrorist. He sustained several gunshot wounds in the abdomen. His persistence paid off when he got the second terrorist.
Kumar’s best was yet to come. Bleeding profusely, he engaged the third terrorist in hand-to-hand combat before claiming his last prize. Kumar too succumbed to his injuries.
“Havildar Rajesh Kumar showed unparalleled feat of most conspicuous gallantry, fortitude and the rare spirit of self sacrifice in fighting the terrorists,” a defence ministry release said.
The President has approved 442 awards and other decorations, including a Ashok Chakra, six Kirti Chakras, 26 Shaurya Chakras, three Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 118 Sena Medals (Gallantry), three Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry) and 3 Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry).
Patil will also award Ashok Chakra to Major Mohit Sharma (posthumous) and Major D Sreeram Kumar, selected for the awards on August 15, 2009.
The Kirti Chakras will also be given to Major Suresh Suri from Kumaon Regiment/13 RR (posthumous), Major Pushpender Singh from Rajputana Rifles/28 Assam Rifles, Sashastra Seema Bal SI Bhopal Singh (posthumous) and Meghalaya Police constable Rel Deo Sangma (posthumous).