New Delhi: Nineteen soldiers of the 4 and 9 Para, the special forces' units which undertook the daring cross-border surgical strike across LoC, have been awarded gallantry medals including a Kirti Chakra while their commanding officers have been given Yudh Sewa Medal.
Major Rohit Suri of 4 Para, who led one of the teams across the LoC targeting terrorists' launch pads, was awarded the Kirti Chakra, second highest peacetime gallantry award, on the eve of the Republic Day.
Havildar Prem Bahadur Resmi Magar of the Gorkha Rifles got the Kirti Chakra posthumously.
Col Kapil Yadav, commanding officer of 9 Para and Col Harpreet Sandhu, Commanding Officer of 4 Para, were awarded the Yudh Sewa Medal, one of India's military decorations awarded to mark distinguished service during war time is awarded for a high degree of distinguished service in an operational content, including times of war, conflict, or hostilities and may also be awarded posthumously.
The award is the wartime equivalent of the Vishisht Seva Medal, which is a decoration for peace time distinguished service.
Five personnel from the two para units also got Shaurya Chakra while 13 got Sena Medal (Gallantry).
Also, Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi and Lt Gen P M Hariz, who were superseded by Gen Bipin Rawat in the race for Army chief chief, awarded Param Vishisht Seva Medal.
On September 18, 2016, four terrorists belonging to the Pakistani jihadi group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) struck at an Indian Army camp in Uri.
The resultant impact of the Uri incident, which led to the death of 19 army soldiers, was not the only provocation that hardened the government’s resolve and it was forced to move beyond standard reactions.
The Army’s action against terrorist launch pads was a result of a build-up of terrorist attacks that had been emanating from across the Line of Control (LoC). This was reinforced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who indicated that those responsible for the Uri attack would not go unpunished.
The response was in the form of a cross-border raid on Pakistani posts to avenge the Uri attack. The raids took place on September 29.
(With PTI inputs)