The crack Army Special Forces team which conducted the cross-border surgical strike against Northeastern insurgents inside Myanmar was awarded a Kirti Chakra, a Shaurya Chakra and five Sena Medals in the Independence Day gallantry awards list declared on Friday.
Havildar Tanka Kumar Limbu of the unit was awarded the Shaurya Chakra. The five who got Sena Medals are Major Prashant Yadav, Lieutenant Krishan Kant, Havildar Raj Bahadur Tamang, and Naiks Manoj Kumar and Bhupinder Singh. It was on the night of June 8-9 that the small group of 21 Para-SF commandos secretively crossed over into Myanmar to carry out what became one of the most talked about raids in recent years. The operation, in which at least 20 militants are believed to have been killed, targeted at least two camps of the NSCN(K) and other insurgents.
It was a swift retributive strike to the militant ambush of a Dogra battalion convoy in Manipur’s Chandel district on June 4, which left 18 soldiers dead. This raid was not an isolated misison. In the first half of 2015, Army’s SF units, especially the 21 Para-SF battalion, carried out several other successful raids against insurgent groups in the Northeast.
The highest peacetime gallantry award, the Ashoka Chakra, was not awarded this year. The only other Kirti Chakra awardee is Naib Subedar Rajesh Kumar of Mahar, who laid down his life while killing two heavily-armed terrorists in J&K last October.
The six other Shaurya Chakra awardees from the armed forces are: Col Munindra Nath Rai (posthumous) (Gorkha Rifles), Major Tanuj Grover (Armoured Corps), Capt Varun Kumar Singh (Rajput), Havildar Man Bahadur Chhetri (posthumous) (Assam Rifles), Capt Milind Mohan Mokashi (Navy) and Wing Commander Sandeep Singh (IAF).