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Nine stories of bravery that will inspire over a billion Indians

Indian President and Supreme Commander of the country's armed forces, Draupadi Murmu, awarded eight Shaurya Chakras and one Kirti Chakra to Indian Army personnel on the eve of Independence Day 2022. Two of the eight Shaurya Chakra medal winners have earned the third highest peacetime gallantry award posthumously. Let's take a look at these bravehearts:

Nine stories of bravery that inspire over billion Indians
New Delhi, First Published Aug 14, 2022, 11:31 PM IST

Indian President and Supreme Commander of the country's armed forces, Draupadi Murmu, awarded eight Shaurya Chakras and one Kirti Chakra to Indian Army personnel on the eve of Independence Day 2022. Two of the eight Shaurya Chakra medal winners have earned the third highest peacetime gallantry award posthumously. Let's take a look at these bravehearts:

Naik Devendra Pratap Singh
Kirti Chakra

Naik Devendra Pratap Singh was awarded Kirti Chakra, the second highest peacetime gallantry award, for displaying exceptional tactical acumen in laying an impregnable cordon in a village in Pulwama district of Jammu & Kashmir in January 2022.

During search, when subjected to indiscriminate fire by four terrorists equipped with modern assault rifles, Naik Devendra Pratap Singh stood his ground undeterred and immediately retaliated. This prevented the terrorists from escaping. 

Exhibiting nerves of steel and bravery of highest order, Naik Devendra Pratap Singh eliminated one terrorist on the spot face to face and swiftly changed his position to engage fleeing terrorists thereby eliminating the second terrorist. 

Major Nitin Dhaania
Shaurya Chakra 

On December 13 last year, Major Nitin Dhaania was tasked with executing a surgical operation in a crowded area of South Kashmir to avert a terrorist attack on an Army convoy.

At 1330 hours, he identified two terrorists in guise of civilians. Sensing danger to civilians and imminent threat to Army convoy, he along with his men discreetly closed in towards the terrorists and tactfully challenged the terrorists, who retaliated with automatic fire towards them at extremely close range. In the ensuing gun battle, he eliminated both the terrorists. 

Major Amit Dahiya
Shaurya Chakra 

In July-August 2021, Major Amit Dahiya received an intelligence input about the presence of terrorists in his area of responsibility. He led a Search and Destroy Operation Team to eliminate foreign terrorists in Pulwama district. 

He astutely deployed his Sniper Detachments to observe the area from vantage points and stops to cut off likely escape routes. A civilian movement was observed in the early morning. 

On ascertaining threat to own troops and civilians, Major Amit Dahiya displayed bold initiative and tactically maneuvered to close in and neutralised the terrorist in a fierce gun battle. He also provided accurate fire support in neutralising a second terrorist while ensuring no collateral damage.

Major Sandeep Kumar
Shaurya Chakra 

Since March 2020, Major Sandeep Kumar had conducted five successful operations resulting in elimination of 13 terrorists. On January 5, 2022, during a specific operation in, Pulwama district, three terrorists equipped with modern assault rifles and night vision devices opened indiscriminate fire on search party of Major Sandeep from a cowshed. 

Undeterred by terrorist fire and with utter disregard to personal safety, the officer crawled ahead under covering fire provided by his buddy and closed in to the cowshed in an open area without any cover. 

Displaying unflinching loyalty, he pushed his buddy away from grave danger, exposing himself to heavy terrorist fire. In an act of unparalleled courage, he engaged terrorists in a face-to-face gunfight eliminating one terrorist and grievously injuring another terrorist. 

Major Abhishek Singh 
Shaurya Chakra 

Major Abhishek Singh participated in four successful operations and eliminated nine terrorists. On January 6-7, 2022, he was part of Operation Zoiu leading his team to lay initial cordon in Budgam district of Jammu & Kashmir.

A suspicious movement of three terrorists was observed and they were opened indiscriminate fire on being challenged. He and his men neutralized the first terrorist while the remaining two terrorists got holed up in narrow alley between houses. 

Leading the search team, Major Abhishek Singh volunteered to clear it physically. While closing in, the team was fired upon by hiding terrorist and in ensuing firefight Major Abhishek Singh injured second terrorist with effective fire. 

The third terrorist lobbed grenade on the officer, injuring near his eye. Though he bleed profusely, the officer regained his wit and located third terrorist firing onto search team. Disregarding his personal safety, the officer swiftly manoeuvred and took advantageous position. He aimed shots neutralising heavily armed category A+ foreign terrorist. 

Havildar Ghanshyam
Shaurya Chakra

On July 13, 2021 at 2230 hours, specific input was received regarding presence of terrorists in Pulwama town of Jammu and Kashmir. With his intimate knowledge of terrain, Havildar Ghanshyam ensured swift laying of an impregnable cordon and quickly readjusted his position to cover escape routes. 

At 0840 hours on July 14, 2021, he and his buddy Sepoy Bhupendra Singh Bhandari came under heavy fire from a terrorist attempting to break the cordon. Exhibiting raw courage and tactical acumen, Havildar Ghanshyam swiftly retaliated with accurate fire thereby preventing escape. Havildar Ghanshyam dashed towards the terrorist from limited cover and eliminated the terrorist at close range under covering fire from his buddy. 

Lance Naik Ragh Vendra Singh
Shaurya Chakra

On December 29, 2021, in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam, Lance Naik Ragh Vendra received a radio call of a suspect approaching his side, he immediately realigned himself towards terrorists and charged upon them while firing swiftly and accurately.

The terrorists opened indiscriminate fire and lobbed grenades towards Lance Naik Ragh Vendra injuring him grievously and attempted escape into the orchards. In a bold action, unmindful of his injury, displaying ingenuity, initiative, most conspicuous gallantry and unparalleled bravery Lance Naik Ragh Vendra closed in with the terrorists under fire and neutralised a hardcore terrorist from point-blank range ensuring no injuries to own troops or the civilians. 

Sepoy Karn Veer Singh
Shaurya Chakra

Based on specific input regarding movement of two unidentified terrorists in a village in Shopian district, an ambush was laid on October 20 last year. Sepoy Karn Veer Singh was scout of the team which had laid the ambush. The terrorists in an attempt to escape jumped into a nalla. Sepoy Karn Veer Singh, foreseeing the contingency of terrorists to escape, dashed after them alone for 100 meters. 

The terrorists, realizing that they were being chased, fired at him indiscriminately and lobbed grenades injuring him. Undaunted by his injuries, Sepoy Karn Veer Singh crawled ahead for 30 meters and accurately engaged the terrorists and pinned them down. 

In an intense fight, he injured the second terrorist before receiving a bullet injury on his head, and laid his life in the line of duty. For eliminating one hardcore terrorist and injuring another one, despite being mortally wounded, Sepoy Karn Veer Singh has been named for Shaurya Chakra posthumously. 

Gunner Jasbir Singh
Shaurya Chakra 

On December 29, 2021, Gunner Jasbir Singh was the part of inner cordon during an operation in which three terrorists were eliminated. On specific input, a cordon and search operation was launched in a village in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir. 

As the deliberate search of target house was in progress, the terrorists opened indiscriminate fire and lobbed two grenades in a bid to break cordon and flee. Sensing danger to own troops Gunner Jasbir Singh immediately sprung into action and with sheer disregard to his personal safety he repositioned himself and retaliated with accurate fire which blocked the escape route of terrorists but terrorists continued to fire. 

He then, showing indomitable courage, moved ahead, closed in with the terrorists and eliminated them with an M4 weapon at close range, later identified as a CAT A++, who was involved in the Pulwama attack. In the ensuing gunfight, Gunner Jasbir Singh sustained multiple gunshot wounds and made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty. 

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