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Independence Day: 84 security personnel to get top gallantry awards

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New Delhi, Aug 15: President Ram Nath Kovind, the supreme commander of the armed forces, Friday approved 84 awards and decorations, including one Kirti Chakra, nine Shaurya Chakras, five additions of a bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 60 Sena Medals (Gallantry), four Nau Sena Medals (Gallantry) and five Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry).

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No awards have yet been given out for soldiers who took part in Galwan clash, though the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has recommended gallantry medals for 21 personnel who faced Chinese troops in multiple skirmishes that occurred in eastern Ladakh in May and June.

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    The President approved gallantry awards for defence personnel, including Shaurya Chakra to three from the Army for counter-terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir, the defence ministry said on Friday.

    Wing Commander Vishak Nair from the Indian Air Force was also awarded the Shaurya Chakra.

    Those from the Army who have been awarded the Shaurya Chakra are Lt.Col. Krishan Singh Rawat from the elite Special Forces, Major Anil Urs and Havildar Alok Kumar Dubey.

    The Shaurya Chakra is awarded for "gallantry otherwise than in the face of the enemy". It is the third highest gallantry award in peacetime.

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    The president also approved Sena Medal (gallantry) to 60 Army personnel, Nao Sena Medal (gallantry) to four from the Navy and five Vayu Sena Medal (gallantry) for the Air Force. Bar to Sena Medal has been approved for five Army personnel.

    The president has also approved 19 Mention-in-Despatches to the Army personnel for their significant contributions in different military operations, which include eight posthumous for ''Operation Meghdoot'' and ''Operation Rakshak''.

    Operation ''Meghdoot'' was launched in 1984 to secure control of the heights predominating the Siachen Glacier. It is, perhaps, the longest operation in modern military history.

    ''Operation Rakshak'' is also an ongoing counter-insurgency operation in Jammu and Kashmir.

    When asked whether the soldiers who sacrificed lives in Galwan Valley clashes were not considered, people familiar with the matter said their contribution will be considered for next year's awards.

    Twenty Indian soldiers lost their lives in a clash with the Chinese Army, which also suffered casualties but China has not released any casualty figure.

    Gallantry awards for defence personnel are announced ahead of every Republic Day and Independence Day.

    with PTI inputs

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