Kirti Charka recommended for Indian victims of Kabul blast

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New Delhi, Jul 15 (UNI) In an effort to instil a sense of confidence among Indians working on various developmental projects in Afghanistan, the government today recommended 'Kirti Charka' for the four Indians killed in the July 7 suicide attack in Kabul.

Sources in South Block said the Ministry of Defence has forwarded a recommendation to award the Kirti Chakra (posthmously) to Defence attache Brig R D Mehta, IFS officer and political counsellor V V Rao and ITBP jawans Ajai Pathania and Roop Singh, to the President.

The four were among the 58 people killed in the suicide attack on Indian embassy in Kabul on July 7.

The recommendation comes close on the heels of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paying a visit to the families of Brig Mehta and Mr Rao and meeting the ITBP personnel injured in the attack.

Nearly 2,500 Indians are working on various projects -- building roads, bridges, power projects, government offices, health centres -- across Afghanistan.

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has completed about 80 per cent of the work on the 219-km road from Zaranj to Delaram on the Iran-Afghanistan border. The road will link the highways of the land-locked country to Iranian ports and open the Afghan market to Indian goods as currently there are no transit facilities through Pakistan.

The road project had been the target of the Taliban.

Kirti Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the field of battle.

It may be awarded to civilians as well as military personnel, including posthumously.

It is the peace time equivalent of the Maha Vir Chakra given for highest valour on the battle field.

It is also second in order of precedence of peace time gallantry awards and comes after Ashoka Chakra and before Shaurya Chakra.

Before 1967, the award was known as the Ashoka Chakra, Class II.

UNI NAB RR KN1939

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