Slain Batla House inspector among 215 selected for President’s gallantry medals
Mohan Chand Sharma had worked with the Delhi Police’s special cell and was among the few decorated officers tasked with anti-terror work.Updated: Aug 14, 2020 23:08 IST
Delhi Police inspector Mohan Chand Sharma, who died in the 2008 Batla House encounter, was awarded the gallantry medal posthumously for his role in a 2007 operation against members of terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), officials privy to the development said on condition of anonymity.
Sharma had worked with the Delhi Police’s special cell and was among the few decorated officers tasked with anti-terror work.The Union home ministry on Friday released the list of police personnel who have been awarded medals on the occasion of Independence Day.
While 215 personnel have been given the medal for gallantry, 80 were awarded the President’s medal for distinguished service and 631 for meritorious service.
Sharma, then 44, had suffered three gunshot wounds when he went to capture five suspected terrorists hiding in south Delhi’s Batla House on September 19, 2008. He later succumbed to injuries at the hospital.He had joined Delhi Police as a sub-inspector in 1989 and received an out-of-turn promotion that made him an inspector in 1995. Usually, it takes a sub-inspector around 13 to 15 years to be promoted to the rank of inspector.
The citation for Sharma, which mentions the act of bravery of the award winner, has not been released as yet.
But officials privy to the development said Sharma was given the gallantry award for his bravery in a 2007 encounter against JeM members. In the shoot-out in Janipur in Jammu on August 11, 2007, Sharma and his team had shot dead Asif alias Qari, a Pakistani citizen, who was then the divisional commander of JeM (Jammu region). Qari’s accomplice Zafar Iqbal was arrested after the shoot-out. The two were involved in the attack on the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. Qari, police said, was later convicted of the crime in 2019.
Other members of Sharma’s team -- inspectors Kailash Bisht and Dharender Kumar, sub-inspector Devender Singh, and assistant sub-inspectors Nissar Ahmed Shaik and Pravesh Rathi -- have also been awarded the gallantry medals.
Sharma was also awarded the Ashok Chakra in 2009. This was Sharma’s seventh gallantry medal.
Sanjeev Yadav, deputy police commissioner, special cell, who was Sharma’s senior in 2008,said, “ At the special cell, we are happy that the government has recognised the team’s work.”
Other special cell officers DCP Manishi Chandra, inspectors Ravinder Joshi and Vinod Badola, along with sub-inspector Banay Singh have also received the gallantry medal for the shoot-out that led to the death of Delhi gangster Surender Malik alias Neetu Dabodhia. Until his death, Dabodhia was one of the most wanted men in the national capital.
This year, the gallantry awards’ list is topped by the police personnel from Jammu and Kashmir -- they won 81 medals, followed by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) with 51 medals.
The home ministry officials familiar with the selection process said a majority of gallantry medals went to these two forces due to their counter-insurgency operations.