Two army personnel, who laid down their lives combating militants in Kashmir, have been selected posthumously for the Ashok Chakra -- the highest peacetime military honour of the country.
Major Mukund Varadarajan and Naik Neeraj Kumar laid down their lives while battling groups of militants in separate operations in Shopian and Kupwara districts of Kashmir respectively, Udhampur-based defence spokesman Colonel S D Goswami said.
“Major Mukund Varadarajan, Company Commander, received information about the presence of three terrorists in village of Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir on April 25, 2014. This group had targeted polling officials just a day prior.
"Major Mukund acted swiftly by deploying troops in an effective cordon and simultaneously evacuated civilians from the target house,” the spokesman said.
He said Major Mukund led from the front the demolition team and used the resources available to him in a critically short time period to bring down the target house.
“This aggressive action forced the terrorists to shift their position to an outhouse in the compound. Major Mukund along with his buddy Sepoy Vikram displaying raw courage, crawled in proximity to the outhouse.
The officer lobbed a grenade inside the cement outhouse killing one terrorist instantaneously. Another terrorist present in the outhouse opened a burst of auto fire thereby seriously injuring Major Mukund,” he said.
The spokesman said although bleeding profusely, the officer crawled ahead unmindful of his grave injury, fired and neutralised the second terrorist.
“The elimination of terrorist avenged the killing of the election officials within 24 hours and restored faith of public in democracy and the Indian Army. Major Mukund Varadarajan was evacuated but succumbed to his injuries,” he said.
Naik Neeraj was part of the team that carried out a search and destroy operation in Kalaroos area of Kupwara district on August 24 last year.
“The party noticed movement of few terrorists close to a Dhok, who opened indiscriminate fire on own troops. In the ensuring fire fight, buddy of Naik Neeraj was hit on bullet proof jacket. With utter disregard for his personal safety, Naik Neeraj crawled and extricated his buddy.
“A terrorist threw grenades and brought heavy fire on Naik Neeraj. In a daring act, he inched closer to the terrorist and shot him dead,” the spokesman said.
He said Naik Neeraj Kumar was attacked by another militant resulting in dropping of his Rifle and the terrorist shot him in the chest.
“Despite grievous injuries, displaying unparalleled courage, he pounced on the terrorist, snatched his weapon and killed him in hand to hand combat,” he added.
The spokesman said Naik Neeraj refused to be evacuated till he became unconscious and was evacuated by helicopter to 92 Base Hospital, where he succumbed.
- Source: Rediff news
Full list: Padma Awards 2015
Padma Awards, one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, were announced on Sunday. The awards are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc. 'Padma Vibhushan' is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; 'Padma Bhushan' for distinguished service of high order and 'Padma Shri' for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year.
These awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March/ April every year. This year the President of India has approved conferment of Padma Awards to 104 persons as per the list below. The list comprises of 9 Padma Vibhushan, 20 Padma Bhushan and 75 Padma Shri Awardees. 17 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 17 persons from the category of foreigners, NRIs, PIOs and 4 Posthumous awardees
This year the President of India has approved conferment of Padma Awards to 104 persons as per the list below. The list comprises of 9 Padma Vibhushan, 20 Padma Bhushan and 75 Padma Shri Awardees.
2 Amitabh Bachchan- Art- Maharashtra
3 Prakash Singh Badal- Public Affairs- Punjab
4 Dr D Veerendra Heggade- Social Work- Karnataka
5 Mohammad Yusuf Khan alias Dilip Kumar- Art- Maharashtra
6 Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Swami Rambhadracharya- Others- Uttar Pradesh
7 Prof Malur Ramaswamy Srinivasan- Science and Engineering- Tamil Nadu
8 Kottayan K. Venugopal- Public Affairs- Delhi
9 Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan (Foreigner)- Trade and Industry- France/UK
1 Jahnu Barua- Art- Assam
2 Dr Vijay Bhatkar- Science and Engineering- Maharashtra
3 Shri Swapan Dasgupta- Literature and Education- Delhi
4 Swami Satyamitranand Giri- Others- Uttar Pradesh
5 N Gopalaswami- Civil Service- Tamil Nadu
6 Dr Subhash C Kashyap- Public Affairs- Delhi
7 Dr (Pandit) Gokulotsavji Maharaj- Art- Madhya Pradesh
8 Dr Ambrish Mithal- Medicine - Delhi
9 Sudha Ragunathan- Art- Tamil Nadu
10 Shri Harish Salve- Public Affairs- Delhi
11 Dr Ashok Seth- Medicine- Delhi
12 Rajat Sharma- Literature and Education- Delhi
13 Satpal- Sports- Delhi
14 Shivakumara Swami- Others- Karnataka
15 Dr Kharag Singh Valdiya- Science and Engineering- Karnataka
16 Prof Manjul Bhargava (NRI/PIO)- Science and Engineering- USA
17 David Frawley (Vamadeva) (Foreigner)- Others- USA
18 Bill Gates (Foreigner)- Social Work- USA
19 Melinda Gates (Foreigner)- Social Work- USA
20 Saichiro Misumi (Foreigner)- Others- Japan
1 Dr Manjula Anagani- Medicine- Telangana
2 S Arunan- Science and Engineering- Karnataka
3 Kanyakumari Avasarala- Art- Tamil Nadu
4 Dr Bettina Sharada Baumer- Literature and Education- Jammu and Kashmir
5 Naresh Bedi- Art- Delhi
6 Ashok Bhagat- Social Work- Jharkhand
7 Sanjay Leela Bhansali- Art- Maharashtra
8 Dr Lakshmi Nandan Bora- Literature and Education- Assam
9 Dr Gyan Chaturvedi- Literature and Education- Madhya Pradesh
10 Prof (Dr) Yogesh Kumar Chawla- Medicine- Chandigarh
11 Jayakumari Chikkala- Medicine- Delhi
12 Bibek Debroy- Literature and Education- Delhi
13 Dr Sarungbam Bimola Kumari Devi- Medicine- Manipur
14 Dr Ashok Gulati- Public Affairs- Delhi
15 Dr Randeep Guleria- Medicine- Delhi
16 Dr KP Haridas- Medicine- Kerala
17 Rahul Jain- Art- Delhi
18 Ravindra Jain- Art- Maharashtra
19 Dr Sunil Jogi- Literature and Education- Delhi
20 Prasoon Joshi- Art- Maharashtra
21 Dr Prafulla Kar- Art- Odisha
22 Saba Anjum- Sports- Chhattisgarh
23 Ushakiran Khan- Literature and Education- Bihar
24 Dr Rajesh Kotecha- Medicine- Rajasthan
25 Prof Alka Kriplani- Medicine Delhi
26 Dr Harsh Kumar- Medicine- Delhi
27 Narayana Purushothama Mallaya- Literature & Education- Kerala
28 Lambert Mascarenhas- Literature and Education- Goa
29 Dr Janak Palta McGilligan- Social Work- Madhya Pradesh
30 Veerendra Raj Mehta- Social Work- Delhi
31 Tarak Mehta- Art- Gujarat
32 Neil Herbert Nongkynrih (Art), Meghalaya
33 Chewang Norphel- Others- Jammu and Kashmir
34 TV Mohandas Pai- Trade and Industry- Karnataka
35 Dr Tejas Patel- Medicine- Gujarat
36 Jadav Molai Peyang- Others- Assam
37 Bimla Poddar- Others- Uttar Pradesh
38 Dr N Prabhakar- Science and Engg- Delhi
39 Dr Prahalada- Science and Engg- Maharashtra
40 Dr Narendra Prasad- Medicine- Bihar
41 Ram Bahadur Rai- Literature and Education- Delhi
42 Mithali Raj- Sports- Telangana
43 PV Rajaraman- Civil Service- Tamil Nadu
44 Prof JS Rajput- Literature and Education- Uttar Pradesh
45 Kota Srinivasa Rao- Art- Andhra Pradesh
46 Prof Bimal Roy- Literature and Education- West Bengal
47 Shekhar Sen- Art- Maharashtra
48- Gunvant Shah- Literature and Education- Gujarat
49 Brahmdev Sharma- Literature and Education- Delhi
50 Manu Sharma- Literature and Education- Uttar Pradesh
51 Prof Yog Raj Sharma- Medicine- Delhi
52 Vasant Shastri- Science and Engg- Karnataka
53 SK Shivkumar- Science and Engg- Karnataka
54 PV Sindhu- Sports- Telangana
55 Sardara Singh- Sports- Haryana
56 Arunima Sinha-Sports- Uttar Pradesh
57 Mahesh Raj Soni- Art- Rajasthan
58 Dr Nikhil Tandon- Medicine- Delhi
59 H Thegtse Rinpoche- Social Work- Arunachal Pradesh
60 Dr Hargovind Laxmishanker Trivedi- Medicine- Gujarat
61 Huang Baosheng- Others- China
62 Prof Jacques Blamont- Science and Engg- France
63 Late Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin- Others- Maharashtra (Posthumous)
64 Jean-Claude Carriere- Literature and Education - France
65 Dr Nandrajan 'Raj' Chetty- Literature and Education- France
66 George L Hart- Others- USA
67 Jagat Guru Amrta Suryananda Maha Raja- Others- Portugal
68 Late Meetha Lal Mehta- Social Work- Rajasthan (Posthumous)
69 Tripti Mukherjee- Art- USA
70 Dr Dattatreyudu Nori- Medicine- USA
71 Dr Raghu Rama Pillarisetti (Medicine), USA
72 Dr Saumitra Rawat- Medicine- UK
73 Prof Annette Schmiedchen (Literature and Education), Germany
74 Late Pran Kumar Sharma alias Pran- Art- Delhi (Posthumous)
75 Late R Vasudevan- Civil Service- Tamil Nadu (Posthumous)