Ashok Chakra awardee passes away

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Shillong, Feb 15 (PTI) Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) ManBahadur Rai, the oldest surviving recipient of the highestpeace time gallantry award Ashok Chakra, passed away at hisresidence in Assam''s Jorhat district, officials said today.

Rai left for his heavenly abode at the age of 95 yearsyesterday at his residence after old-age illness.

He had served 8th Assam Rifles during the tumultuousera of the sixties and was awarded the Ashok Chakra in 1961for his gallant action against insurgents in Nagaland, wherehe led a platoon through two hostile positions into the heartof insurgents'' stronghold and was successful in dislodgingthem from that position, Assam Rifles spokesman Lt Col A KChoudhury said in a statement.

"In yet another operation on 3 May 1961, he had led aplatoon against strongly fortified hostile position, which wassituated on the steep slope of a ravine. On locating thehostile position, he threw hand grenades, killing a fewhostiles and physically charged the position killing two morehostiles. This fearless and unexpected assault had spurred hismen into action and so demoralised the hostiles that they fledinto the thick jungle," the statement read.

The auditorium at Assam Rifles in the Laitkor garrisonhere is named after this braveheart.

The officer was laid to rest with full military honourduring a befitting ceremony at his home place and the DirectorGeneral Assam Rifles Rameshwar Roy expressed his deepcondolences to the family of the departed soul.

A wreath to honour the veteran soldier was laid at thefuneral ceremony today on behalf of the DG Assam Rifles. PTIRTJ NIK

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