As the Nation is celebrating its 72nd Independence day which holds tremendous ground as it reminds every Indian about the dawn of a new beginning, Republic TV celebrated the unsung heroes of our country who have overcome hardship, struggle and the harshest of adversities to ensure that the spirit of India burns on. In line with its special broadcast 'Heroes of India', Republic TV spoke to CRPF Officer Chetan Kumar Cheetah, who miraculously survived despite receiving nine gun-shots during a fierce battle with a group of terrorists in Hajin area of Bandipora, Jammu, and Kashmir.
While speaking to Republic TV, Chetan Kumar Cheetah recollected his first thought after regaining consciousness. His only worry at that juncture was 'when he will be able to re-join his duty'.
"I'm a soldier. I'm trained to work like this. In spite of getting such grievous injuries, when I was in the hospital, in my mind was whether I'd be able to come back into service", he said.
When he was asked about the factor that kept him going, he revealed,"I wanted to stand on my feet as fast as possible. This is what we're trained for. No matter how hard the conditions".
When asked about the importance of freedom, he said that 'freedom defines the personality of an individual'.
"Who so ever is staying in Country like India. The freedom of expression and speech defines the personality of an individual", he said. "When you question the integrity of soldiers and question their valour it is shameful. There is no need to demoralize the forces", he added.
CRPF Officer Chetan Kumar Cheetah miraculously survived, despite receiving nine gun-shots during a fierce battle with a group of terrorists in Hajin area of Bandipora, Jammu, and Kashmir. He sustained the gunshots when the Indian Army troops were conducting a search operation in Bandipora. During the cordon and search operation, the security forces noticed some disturbance in the surrounding. Moments after, the terrorists, who were hiding in the area started firing at the troops. But Cheetah, Commandant of 45 battalions, bravely stalled the terrorists and ended up suffering multiple gunshots. However, he stalled the terrorists from moving any further.
Commandant Cheetah's journey to recovery was not an easy one. First, he was operated upon in Srinagar, then he was taken by air ambulance to AIIMS where he had to undergo physiotherapy and speech therapy. He suffered bullet injuries in his brain, right eye, abdomen, both arms, left hand and in the buttock region while fighting terrorists. He was in the coma for almost 1.5 months before he regained consciousness.
For over two months, the brave officer battled for his life and after his recovery, he joined the forces again. This hero of India was awarded second highest peacetime gallantry medal – Kirti Chakra and is currently part of the CRPF’s directorate, inspiring many with his never say die attitude.
Commandant Chetan Cheetah was awarded the second highest peacetime gallantry medal 'Kirti Chakra' last Independence Day. His return post his recovery truly shows the willpower of the Indian soldiers along with their unconditional commitment to the nation.