J&K police awarded Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra

J&K Police constable Altaf Hussain Bhat has been posthumously awarded the Kirti Chakra

New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel who are on the forefront of fighting terrorists in Kashmir Valley have been awarded India’s highest peacetime gallantry award, the Ashok Chakra, and second highest peacetime gallantry award Kirti Chakra (both posthumously) on the eve of India's 75th Independence Day.

Babu Ram, ASI with Jammu & Kashmir Police, has been posthumously awarded India's highest peacetime gallantry award Ashok Chakra. J&K Police constable Altaf Hussain Bhat has been posthumously awarded the Kirti Chakra.

President Ram Nath Kovind, who is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, approved 144 gallantry awards to armed forces, police and paramilitary personnel on the eve of Independence Day 2021. These include one Ashok Chakra, one Kirti Chakra, 15 Shaurya Chakras, four Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 116 Sena Medals (Gallantry), five Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry) and two Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry).

India's third highest peacetime gallantry award, the Shaurya Chakra, has been awarded to 15 (4 posthumously) which includes six Army officers and soldiers, two IAF officers, one Navy Officer, three CRPF personnel, two Odisha police commandos and one special officer with J&K police.

In the Indian Army, those who have been awarded the Shaurya Chakra include Major Arun Kumar Pandey, Major Ravi Kumar Chaudhary, Captain Ashutosh Kumar (posthumously), Capt Vikas Khatri, Rifleman Mukesh Kumar, and Sepoy Neeraj Ahlawat.

On November 8, 2020, Indian Army's Captain Ashutosh Kumar, who would have turned 25 years this year, was performing the duties of Ghatak Platoon Commander at a post close to the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. On receiving information of likely escape of terrorists, Captain Ashutosh proceeded to establish stops along the likely routes. At 0630 hours, a group led by Capt. Ashutosh observed the movement of escaping terrorists. While closing in, the scout of the group sustained a bullet injury.

"Sensing grave danger to own troops and seeing the terrorist escape, officer with utter disregard to his personal safety and displaying grit of steel while being completely exposed to terrorist fire, with complete calmness took an aimed shot and brought down the terrorist at a very close range," said the citation of (Late) Captain Ashutosh.

In the ensuring gunfire he sustained a gunshot wound and succumbed to injuries on the spot. "For displaying indomitable courage and professional acumen of highest order in saving his fellow soldier’s life and eliminating hardcore terrorist with utter disregard to his own safety, Captain Ashutosh Kumar is recommended for the award of Shaurya Chakra (Posthumous)," said the citation.

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