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Eight Myanmar raid troops among 67 to get gallantry medals

New Delhi : Two army personnel were awarded the Kirti Chakra and topped the honours with the second highest peacetime gallantry award for bravery in anti-terror operations on the eve of Independence Day. In all, there are 67 brave hearts who will be awarded for their valour and courage. These include eight personnel of the 21 Para Regiment, which had undertaken a daring operation inside Myanmar following the Manipur ambush. Shaurya Chakra awardee Lt Col Nectar Sanjenbam of the 21 Parachute Regiment, who led a group of Indian soldiers for the raid in the aftermath of the Manipur ambush in June was awarded the Kirti Chakra along with Naib Subedhar Rajesh Kumar (posthumous), killed in an operation against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir in October last year. 

Commandant Chandra Shekhar Joshi, commander of Coast Guard ship Rajratan, which was involved in an operation that led to sinking of a Pakistani boat earlier this year, was among those who won a gallantry award. The operation had run into controversy after Coast Guard DIG B K Loshali claimed that he had ordered the blowing up of the Pakistani boat, contrary to government's claims that the Pakistani crew had set the boat on fire. Apart from Commandant Joshi, Commander Mohan Milind Mokashi, Commanding Officer, INS Sumitra, and Captain Rajesh Dhankhar, Commanding Officer, INS Mumbai, which spearheaded the rescue operation of stranded Indians in Yemen this year, would also get gallantry awards. Besides two Kirti Chakras, there were 10 Shaurya Chakras, one Bar to Sena Medal (Gallantry), 49 Sena Medals (Gallantry), two Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry) and three Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry). 

 The President has also awarded 20 Mention-in-Despatches to Army and Para Military personnel for their significant contributions in different military operations which include three for 'Operation Meghdoot', 12 for 'Operation Rakshak', one for 'Operation Orchid', one for 'Operation Hifazat' and three for 'Operation Rhino'. Among the paramilitary forces CRPF’s slain officer H K Jha was selected for Shaurya Chakra for his daring action in an anti-Maoist operation last year in Bihar. Jharkhand Police Additional SP and CRPF officer Prakash Ranjan Mishra has become the only person from paramilitary or police forces to have been decorated with a gallantry medal the seventh time for displaying exemplary courage in anti-Naxal operations. CRPF with 64 gallantry awards topped the tally among para military forces. 

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