New Delhi: On the eve of Independence Day, President Pranab Mukherjee approved awarding of the Ashoka Chakra, the nation’s highest peacetime gallantry award posthumously to Major Mukund Varadarajan who made the supreme sacrifice while fighting the militants in Jammu and Kashmir in April this year.
While 12 other officers of the armed forces were awarded Shaurya Chakra, the third-highest gallantry award during peacetime.
The Shaurya Chakra awardees include the two naval officers Lt Cdr Manoranjan Kumar and Lt Cdr Kapish Singh Muwal who died saving 94 other personnel on the INS Sindhuratna when a fire broke out in the submarine in February this year.
An IAF helicopter pilot who rescued two Army pilots, whose helicopter had crashed in the Siachen area of J&K, was also awarded the Shaurya Chakra. Among others who got Shaurya Chakra include nine Army personnel.
Major Varadarajan of the 44th Battalion of Rashtriya Rifles (22 Rajput) had laid down his life for the country while leading an anti-terrorist search operation in Qazipathri village in J&K which resulted in an encounter....