Gallantry Awards 2020: Shaurya Chakra for Subedar Sombir, Vayu Sena medals for IAF pilots
Six Army personnel have won the highest peacetime military gallantry awards given this year- the Shaurya Chakra and Naib Subedar Sombir, who died while fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir in February 2019, was one of them. Lt. Col Jyoti Lama, Maj. Konjenbham Bijendra Singh, Naib Subedhar Narender Singh, Naik Naresh Kumar and Karmdeo Oraon were the other brave men honoured with the Shaurya Chakra.
Shaurya Chakra is awarded to the armed forces for instances of extraordinary gallantry.
Squadron Leaders Ninad Mandavgane and Siddharth Vashisht, the two pilots of the Mi17 V5 helicopter, who died after the chopper was shot down by friendly fire in February last year during the dogfight between Indian and Pakistani jets, were among the four awardees of Vayu-Sena Medal.
The helicopter was hit by a surface-to-air missile fired by the Indian Air Force in Kashmir’s Budgam on the morning of February 27, following the failure of command and control.
The shocking incident took place in the midst of intense aerial combat between the Indian and Pakistani fighter jets in Nowshera, a day after Indian Air Force had ventured into Pakistan to destroy a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Balakot, Pakistan.
Havildar Baljeet, Naik Sandeep, Naik Buta Singh, Naik Kuldeep Singh and Rifleman Anil Kumar Jaiswal have also been honoured posthumously with Sena Medal. A total of 107 Sena Medals were announced.
30 top armed forces personnel, including Lt. Gen Ranbir Singh, the Commander of the Northern Army Command and Lt. Gen. Anil Chauhan, the Commander of the Army’s Eastern Command, have been awarded Param Vishisht Sena Medals (PVSM).
Lt. Gen S K Saini, the vice chief of the army, G Ashok Kumar, the vice chief of the navy and Harjit Singh Arora, the vice chief of the Air Force, were also awarded PVSMs.
President Kovind also approved four Uttam Yudh Seva Medals (UYSM) for top Army generals including Lt. Gen. Y K Joshi, who will soon take charge of the Northern Army Command.
The President also approved five Nao Sena Medals (gallantry), four Bar to Sena Medals (devotion to duty), 36 Sena Medals (devotion to duty), eight Nao Sena Medals (devotion to duty), one Bar to Vayu Sena Medal (devotion to duty) and 13 Vayu Sena Medals (devotion to duty).