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President Kovind Presents Gallantry Awards 2021; Group Captain Abhinandan Among Awardees

President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday presented Gallantry Awards at the Defence Investiture Ceremony-I at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Image: ANI

President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday presented Gallantry Awards at the Defence Investiture Ceremony-I at Rashtrapati Bhavan. During the awards ceremony, President Kovind accorded several gallantry awards like the Shaurya Chakra, Kirti Chakra and the Vir Chakra. The Vir Chakra was conferred to Balakot Airstrike hero Indian Air Force Wing Commander (now Group Captain) Abhinandan Varthaman. 

Apart from Abhinandan Varthaman, President Kovind accorded the Shaurya Chakra (posthumously) to Naib Subedar Sombir for killing an A++ category terrorist during an operation in Jammu and Kashmir. The award was received by Naib Subedar Sombir's wife and mother. 

In addition, Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal was also accorded the Shaurya Chakra (posthumously). Major Dhoundiyal played a role in an operation wherein forces had neutralised five terrorists and recovered 200 kg of explosive material during the operation. The award was received by Major Dhoundiyal’s wife Lieutenant Nitika Kaul and mother Saroj Dhoundiyal. Major Dhoundiyal was martyred in the February 2019 encounter with Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir.

Further, President Ram Nath Kovind accorded the second-highest peacetime gallantry award Kirti Chakra (posthumously) to Sapper Prakash Jadhav from the Corps of Engineers. The Kirti Chakra was received by Sapper Prakash Jadhav's wife and mother. Sapper Jadhav had neutralised terrorists in an operation in Jammu and Kashmir. 

Additionally, President Kovind also conferred the Shaurya Chakra gallantry award to Major Maheshkumar Bhure who is an alumnus of Sainik School Satara. According to the Shaurya Chakra citation, Major Bhure led an operation in which six top terrorist commanders were killed. During the operation that was carried out three years ago, Major Bhure was a young Captain in the Indian Army. On November 25, 2018, he led a team in Jammu and Kashmir in an operation that was planned by him. 

Captain Bhure had cordoned the target house and achieved complete surprise, thereby trapping the terrorists. However, the terrorists attempted to counter the cordon in darkness by hurling grenades and firing indiscriminately. As the terrorists ran towards Captain Bhure's position, he retaliated with deadly accurate fire at a close range thereby killing a terrorist and forcing the other terrorists to retreat back, the Shaurya Chakra citation added. Additionally, he also evacuated a fellow soldier under heavy gunfire and killed one more terrorist after readjusting the cordon to prevent any escape, the citation added. 

With inputs from agencies 

Image: ANI

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