New Delhi: Major Aditya Kumar, who was embroiled in a controversy after his unit fired on a stone-pelting mob in South Kashmir’s Shopian in January leading to death of three persons, is among 20 armed forces personnel named for the Shaurya Chakra award. Rifleman Aurangzeb, who hails from Jammu and Kashmir and was brutally killed by terrorists in Pulwama in June when he was on his way home for Eid, will also be conferred the third highest gallantry award.
Sepoy Vrahma Pal Singh has been named for the Kirti Chakra award posthumously. He was killed in an anti-terror operation in November 2017 in Algar village in South Kashmir. Six women officers of the Indian Navy, who were part of the expedition to circumnavigate the globe, were awarded Nao Sena medals. The list of gallantry award winners was released by the defence ministry on the eve of the Independence Day.
The awards were approved by President Ram Nath Kovind, in his capacity as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. No name for the Ashok Chakra, the highest gallantry award, was announced by the government. A number of Army personnel who showed bravery and made sacrifices in anti-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir figured in the list of gallantry awardees.
On selecting major Aditya for Shaurya Chakra, an official release said he is being awarded for “meticulous planning and gallant action” during an anti-terror operation in Budgam in Kashmir in November 2017.
The unit led by Major Aditya had opened fire on a group of stone-pelters in Shopian on January 27 following which the Jammu and Kashmir Police filed an FIR against the army personnel involved in the incident.
In February, the father of Major Aditya had moved the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the FIR. During hearing of the case, the Centre said the state government cannot lodge an FIR against serving army personnel when the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) was in force in the state. Rifleman Aurangzeb, who belonged to the 44 Rashtriya Rifles, was on way back home on June 14 to celebrate Eid when terrorists abducted him.