3 minute readArmy’s Kabul mission doctor to receive Ashoka Chakra

Major Laishram Jyotin Singh (MR-08609), Ashoka Chakra, Army Medical Corps

Major Laishram Jyotin Singh (MR-08609) is to be awarded India’s highest peace-time gallantry award, the Ashoka Chakra, posthumously, by President Pratibha Devisingh Patil at the start of the Republic Day Parade on Wednesday.

Major Singh is the first Army Medical Corps (AMC) officer to be awarded the honor. He died wrestling a suicide bomber to the ground when a residential compound of the Indian Embassy in Kabul came under attack, in February last year.

The official press release of the Ministry of Defense reads, “At 0630 hrs of February 26, 2010, a guarded residential compound of Indian Embassy in Kabul, housing six army medical officers, four paramedics and two other Army officers of the English Language Training Team (ELTT) were suddenly attacked by heavily armed and determined terrorist suicide bombers. A terrorist, after detonating a Suicidal Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (SVBIED) resulting in the death of three security guards, entered the compound to kill any survivors. The terrorist proceed to fire burst of Kalashnikov rounds into the individual rooms and started throwing hand grenades. In the melee, five unarmed officers took shelter in one of the rooms which was subjected to grenade attack and the fire on its roof spread consequently to the bathroom where another group of five officers were sheltered.”

“On hearing shouts of the five officers, Major Laishram Jytoin Singh crawled out from under the debris of his room. (He) charged with bare hands at the armed terrorist and pinned him down to ensure that the terrorists could no longer lob more grenades or direct fire at the officers cornered in a burning room. (Singh) continued to grapple with armed terrorist and did not let him go till the terrorist panicked and detonated his suicide vest, resulting in the instantaneous death of the terrorist and martyrdom of the Indian officer.”

“Major Laishram Jyotin Singh gave up his life for the sake of five of his colleagues, one of whom unfortunately was still charred to death, and another succumbed to his injuries five days later. His sacrifice, in addition, also saved the lives of two officers, and four paramedics and two Afghan civilians still alive within the compound.”

The 37-year old was granted a Short Service Commission in the Army Medical Corps on 15 February, 2003 and a Permanent Commission on April 26, 2007. He served as a medical officer at a high altitude field posting location under Project Vartak and in a Military Hospital in a counterinsurgency operations area for a combined period of over six years in the course of his service. The ministry says that Singh was selected on merit for deputation to Indian Medical Mission in Kabul, Afghanistan where he was stationed since February 13, 2010.

Schooled at the Manipur Public School in the northeastern state of Manipur, he graduated from the Regional Institute of Medical Science at Imphal in 1996. He also earned a Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Medicine from the reputed Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala in the year 2001.

“For his act of exemplary courage, grit, selflessness and valor in the face of a terrorist attack, resulting in his sacrifice and saving 10 of his colleagues, Major Laishram Jyotin Singh was recommended for the award of Ashok Chakra (Posthumous) on Independence Day, August 15, 2010,” says the ministry.

Being single, he is survived by his parents who live in Nambol Awang Leikai, Bishnupur, Manipur.

So what do you think?