Major conferred Ashoka Chakra posthumously

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New Delhi, Jan 25: A Major in the specialised counter-insurgency Rashtriya Rifles, who courageously rescued an injured brother officer and two soldiers during an operation in Kashmir though sustaining fatal injuries himself, has been conferred the country's highest peacetime gallantry award on the eve of the Republic Day 2008.

Major Dinesh Raghu Raman of 34 RR will be conferred the Ashok Chakra posthumously by President Pratibha Devisingh Patil at the Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath tomorrow. Three others -- Captain Harshan R of the elite 2 Para (Special Forces), Naib Subedar Chunni Lal, VrC, SM of 8 J&K Light Infantry (JAKLI) and Colonel Vasanth Venugopal of 9 Maratha Light Infantry -- all who were awarded Ashoka Chakra posthumously on the eve of Independence Day-2007, will also be honoured.

Commissioned into 19 Jat after passing out from NDA in 1996, Major Raman was posted to 34 Rashtriya Rifles Battalion (Jat) on February 2006. In recognition of his leadership qualities and professional competence he was given command of C Coy at Aripanthan.

He showed his mettle in conducting a very successful operation 'Operation Narawar' in June last year, culminating in elimination of three hardcore terrorists in his area of responsibility (AOR).

On October 2, Major Raman deployed his company in a village in Baramulla district where an encounter with terrorists had commenced at 0820 hrs. At 0855 hrs, while closing in on houses suspected to be occupied by the terrorists, he heard shouts of a fellow officer who had been seriously injured.

Displaying camaraderie and esprit-de-corps of the highest order, Major Raman crawled towards him under heavy hostile fire and extricated him and two other injured soldiers to safety. He then engaged the two terrorists who had caused heavy casualties to the troops and in a fierce close quarter battle, shot both of them dead.

The other terrorists fired on Major Raman from another house.

In the ensuing exchange of fire, the officer was seriously injured, but undeterred, continued leading and motivating his troops and pinned down the terrorists till he fell unconscious. He later succumbed to his injuries.

His display of most conspicuous bravery besides camaraderie and leadership of the highest order and his supreme sacrifice for the nation has been recognised with the award.

Born on April 6, 1978, Major Raman (IC-59263W) did his schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya, INA Colony, New Delhi and joined National Defence Academy in 1996. After passing out from NDA, he was commissioned into the Jat Regiment (19 Jat).

During his short and illustrious career, he held various appointments. He was awarded Chief of Army Staff's Commendation Card for his service in Drass during Operation Parakram.


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