Prez presents Gallantry Awards, Abhinandan receives Vir Chakra

New Delhi: Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman was accorded the third highest wartime Gallantry award Vir Chakra by President Ram Nath Kovind during the Defence Investiture Ceremony-I at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday.

He was awarded for his role in shooting down the Pakistani F-16 fighter aircraft by his MiG21 Bison on February 27, 2019 in an aerial dog fight.

Vir Chakra is the country’s third highest wartime Gallantry award after Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra.

The dogfight took place a day after the IAF’s Mirage-2000s struck targets Pakistan’s Balakot in response to the Pulwama attack in Kashmir on February 14, 2019.

President Kovind accorded the second-highest peacetime gallantry award Kirti Chakra (posthumously) to Sapper Prakash Jadhav for neutralising militants in an operation in Jammu and Kashmir. His wife and mother received the award.

Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal also received the Shaurya Chakra (posthumously) for his role in an operation where five militants were eliminated and a huge quantity of explosive material was recovered.

His wife Lt Nitika Kaul and mother received the award at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Naib Subedar Sombir accorded the Shaurya Chakra (posthumously) for killing an A++ category militant during an operation in Jammu and Kashmir. His wife Suman Devi and mother Rajendra Devi received the award.

Captain Maheshkumar Bhure also conferred the Shaurya Chakra.  On 25 November 2018, Captain Maheshkumar Bhure led a team in Jammu & Kashmir, wherein he planned and led the operation in which six top militant commanders were eliminated.

President presended Shaurya Chakra award to Naib Subedar Sombir (Posthumously).

He was among the army men who died while fighting militants in Jammu and Kashmir in February 2019.

Lieutenant Colonel Ajay Singh Kushwah received Shaurya Chakra for a successful counterinsurgency operation in Jammu & Kashmir in which he killed six militants. (UNI)

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