ndian Army Majors Vikas Bhambhu and Mustafa Bohara awarded the Shaurya Chakra posthumously (Image: ANI)
President Droupadi Murmu has approved 76 Gallantry awards to Armed Forces and Central Armed Police Forces personnel on the occasion of 77th Independence Day. These include four Kirti Chakra (posthumous), 11 Shaurya Chakras, including five posthumous, two Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 52 Sena Medals (Gallantry), three Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry) and four Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry).
Among 11 Shaurya Chakras, including five posthumous awardees, Indian Army Majors Vikas Bhambhu and Mustafa Bohara were awarded the 'Shaurya Chakra' posthumously for flying away their crashing ALH Dhruv Rudra helicopter from a built-up area and an ammunition point in Arunachal Pradesh in October 2022 saving many precious lives.
The two pilots lost their lives in the crash despite having the liberty to land in an open area but this could have caused damage to the ammunition point and civilians on the ground.
Major Vikas Bhambhu hailed from Rampuriya village in the Hanumangarh district in Rajasthan while Major Mustafa Bohara hailed from Kheroda village in the Udaipur district of Rajasthan. At least five Army personnel are believed to have died in a helicopter crash of the Indian Army near Migging village in Arunachal Pradesh’s Upper Siang district on October 21 last year.
“An army aviation ALH WSI helicopter which took off from Lekabali crashed on 21st October at 10: 43hrs around Migging (South of Tutting) in Arunachal Pradesh. A joint search and rescue operation of Army and Airforce was launched immediately which included 1 MI17, 2 ALh and 3 Columns of the Indian Army,” the Army said in an official statement.
The President has also approved 30 Mention-in-Despatches to the Army, including to Army dog Madhu (Posthumous), and one to Air Force personnel for their significant contributions to different military operations. The operations include Operation Rakshak, Operation Snow Leopard, Operation Casualty Evacuation, Operation Mount Chomo, Operation Pangsau Pass, Operation Meghdoot, Operation Orchid, Operation Kalisham Valley, Rescue Operation and Operation Evacuation.