20 minute readFor Gallantry

Indian Army

Major Mukund Varadarajan, Ashok Chakra (Posthumous)
The Rajput Regiment/44th Battalion, The Rashtriya Rifles

On 25 April 2014, Major Mukund Varadarajan, Company Commander, received information about the presence of three terrorists in village of Shupiyan district of Jammu and Kashmir. 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.

Major Mukund personally led 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. Although bleeding profusely, unmindful of his grave injury the officer crawled ahead, fired and neutralized 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.

AbhishekMajor Abhishek Kumar, Shaurya Chakra
The Punjab Regiment/22nd Battalion, The Rashtriya Rifles

On 02 October 2013, Major Abhishek exhibited unmatched leadership and professional competence by personally disarming and apprehending a local terrorist in close combat in a village of Sopore district of Jammu and Kashmir. Interrogation of the individual revealed presence of one more terrorist in another village of Sopore district, who was later apprehended personally by the officer on 11 October 2013.

On 13 January 2014, based on input regarding presence of terrorists in village of Sopore, Major Abhishek Kumar established effective cordon of the target house. At 1335 hrs, during search, terrorists fired indiscriminately from the target house and injured a Sepoy. The officer retaliated by aimed fire, pinned down terrorists and pulled the injured to safety. The officer showing utter disregard for his personal safety, raw courage, tactical acumen, crawled forward under heavy fire and eliminated one terrorist. At this instance, second terrorist fired and tried to escape. In spite of heavy volume of fire directed onto him, officer closed in and eliminated him from close range. Two terrorists killed personally by Major Abhishek were later identified as dreaded terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad.

BhatiMajor Manohar Singh Bhati, Sena Medal, Shaurya Chakra
The Parachute Regiment/31st Battalion, The Rashtriya Rifles

Major Manohar Singh Bhati was the team commnder of 31 Rashtriya Rifles and tasked for search and destroy operations in General Area Daradpura of Jammu and Kashmir on 24 February 2014.

The officer meticulously planned the operation and established contact with a terrorist hideout deep in the jungles, in waist-deep snowbound conditions. He personally charged and killed one terrorist at point blank range. The terrorists retaliated with heavy fire on his team. Sensing grave danger to his comrades and the need to maintain contact, the officer displaying bold audacity, ice-cold nerves and concern for the safety of his team, fearlessly charged the remaining terrorists and shot down a second.

Seeing the daring courage of the officer the terrorists broke ranks and ran directly into the waiting ambushes, sited personally by the officer. This action of his was instrumental in elimination of a total of five hardcore foreign terrorists in the operation and destroyed the Lashkar-e-Toiba network in Lolab.

SatnamMajor Satnam Singh, Shaurya Chakra
The Corps of Engineers/15th Battalion, The Assam Rifles

Major Satnam Singh as Company Commander in insurgency affected, politically sensitive Manipur.

On 09 Dec 2013, Major Satnam received information regarding six heavily armed KNF (N) terrorists in general area Nepali Khuti at Thoubal district of Manipur. While searching, own scouts came under heavy and effective fire pinning down the entire party. With utter disregard to personal safety Major Satnam rushed forward with his buddy, Hav Navindra across the open ground. The officer directed his buddy to lay suppressive fire on the terrorists and closed in with one hardcore terrorist and eliminated him at close range. The gallant act by the officer in the further resulted in elimination of two and injuring one hardcore terrorist in the ensuing gun battle and recovery of huge cache of arms and ammunitions.

In addition, Major Satnam has shown exemplary leadership, raw guts and gallantry in apprehending 10 hardcore terrorists of various terrorist groups with arms and ammunition.

VishalMajor Vishal Singh Raghav, Shaurya Chakra
Rajputana Rifles/18th Battalion, The Rashtriya Rifles

Major Vishal Singh Raghav is the Company Commander at Markul since 01 November 2012. The officer has established an effective intelligence network.

On receipt of information of presence of terrorist in Dardpura Forest of Jammu and Kashmir on 24 Feb 2014, Major Vishal Singh Raghav personally led a patrol for search of terrorists in the snow bound forest. While the patrol was moving uphill in waist deep snow clad forest, it came under volley of terrorists fire from a very close range. Under intense hostile fire with total disregard to his personal safety, officer closed in with terrorists and neutralized one terrorist and incapacitated another. Though the terrorists outnumbered the patrol party, he displayed exceptional tactical acumen and deployed his troops to prevent terrorists breaking contact. He called for additional troops and guided them to the encounter site to ensure dissipation of the entire group of foreign terrorists. Throughout the operation, Major Vishal led from front, maintained contact with terrorists, sited and guided fire on terrorist which resulted in elimination of seven hard core foreign terrorists of Lashkar-e-Toiba.

PrakashSubedar Prakash Chand, Shaurya Chakra (Posthumous)
8th Battalion, The Kumaon Regiment

On night 28 October 2013, Sub Prakash Chand was leading an anti infiltration patrol from Bhim post to Kaman post at Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir. At about 0015h, the patrol was fired upon from across the LOC with heavy volume of Small Arms, Under Barrel Grenade Launcher and Rocket Propelled Grenades. Subedar Prakash Chand in a swift action ordered the patrol to adopt firing position and returned fire. While bringing his own men to safety, Subedar Prakash Chand sustained a splinter injury on his right thigh. Bleeding profusely with grievous injury the JCO continued firing and directing his men to safety during which he again received a fatal splinter injury on his head which killed him instantly. Subedar Prakash Chand fought valiantly till his last breath befitting the highest traditions of Indian Army.

AnsaigraNaik Ansaigra Basumatary, Shaurya Chakra
5th Battalion, The Assam Regiment

Naik Ansaigra Basumatary is serving with 5 Assam Regiment on line of control in Jammu and Kashmir since 21 February 2012.

On 22 September 2013 three ambushes of Lashdat Company of 5 Assam Regiment were deployed to cover the Lashdat Nar infiltration route of Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir. At 0655 hours on 23 September 2013 the ambush party observed some suspicious move 200 metre ahead of the ambush site. The entire ambush party was alerted. Terrorists move was continuously tracked. When the terrorists were 20 meters away, the ambush was sprung and there was a prolonged exchange of automatic, AK-47 and Under Barrel Grenade Launcher fire between the ambush party and the terrorists. Naik Ansaigra brought down heavy volume of accurate Light Machine Gun fire on the terrorists which resulted in the elimination of three terrorists and recovery of large amount of warlike stores.

BharatLance Naik Bharat Kumar Chhetri, Shaurya Chakra
3/1st Battalion, The Gorkha Rifles

At 0300 hours on 05 September 2013, a Pakistani ‘Border Action Team’ comprising four terrorists and four regular Pakistani soldiers attempted to raid the tactically significant ‘Abdul Hut’ post at Jammu and Kashmir. The column was detected through a Hand Held Thermal Imager and tracked till it reached within 150 meters. Lance Naik Bharat Kumar Chhettri manning the Rocket Launcher, was tasked to engage the column.

Displaying nerves of steel and mastery over the weapon, he fired a High Explosive rocket at the column, striking near the centre. The column immediately scattered. L/Nk Bharat sensed that the column could escape and disregarding the personal danger to himself, maneuvered to a better firing position under effective enemy fire. His second round also found its mark and scattered the group which was not seen thereafter. His raw courage under fire, steely nerves and field craft ensured that the enemy’s raid was foiled with one foreign terrorist and one Pakistani Havildar killed which was confirmed by own intelligence agencies.

VikramSepoy Vikram, Shaurya Chakra (Posthumous)
The Rajput Regiment/44th Battalion, The Rashtriya Rifles

On 25 April 2014, Sepoy Vikram was part of an operation in Village of Shupiyan district of Jammu and Kashmir. As Major Mukund Varadarajan’s buddy, Sepoy Vikram assisted the officer in preparation and placing of charges in the target house. Sepoy Vikram repeatedly exposed himself to danger as he provide security to the officer.

By about 1800 hours, the terrorists were confined to an outhouse with difficult stand-off access. Displaying courage and with resolve, Sepoy Vikram accompanied the officer as the duo crawled to the outhouse. As Major Mukund Varadarajan was injured in the process of eliminating two terrorists, Sepoy Vikram threw caution to the winds. Displaying camaraderie and an acute sense of mission orientation, he jumped ahead of the officer while calling for his evacuation. Thus, the brave jawan willfully placed himself in harm’s way.

The third terrorists, sensing threat, fired indiscriminately injuring Sepoy Vikram. The resolute jawan held on despite his injuries and shot the terrorist at close quarters as he tried to escape. In the second exchange of fire, Sepoy Vikram received a Gun Shot Wound to the head and neck and succumbed on the spot.

PremRifleman Prem Bahadur Roka Magar, Shaurya Chakra
2/4th Battalion, The Gorkha Rifles

On 09 May 2014, being member of ambush located in the Baghialdara Nalla at Punch District of Jammu and Kashmir, Rifleman Prem Bahadur Roka Magar was entrusted with guarding one of the likely infiltration routes of the terrorist.

At 0230 hours on 10 May 2014 contact was established with the terrorists and fire fight ensued. As the terrorist scattered, one terrorist moved close to his ambush party. During the fire fight, Rifleman Prem thinking the terrorist as his buddy called for him. The terrorist did not respond and slowly turned his weapon towards him. Rifleman Prem realizing his mistake caught the muzzle on the terrorist’s weapon as the terrorist opened fire. A hand to hand combat ensued between the two and Rifleman Prem then punched the terrorist on his face and pushed him to the Nalla. During this unarmed combat, Rifleman Prem had dropped his weapon. Realizing that the terrorist might escape, the NCO threw a grenade on to the fleeing terrorist which injured him on his leg. The grenade splinter immobilized the terrorist which prevented him from escaping across the Line of Control and facilitated his elimination at later stage.

SENA MEDAL (GALLANTRY)
1. IC-56366K LT COL PAONAM ROMESH SINGH, KUMAON, 50 RR
2. IC-63075M MAJ MANI INDER PAL, GRENADIERS, 29 RR
3. IC-63384P MAJ GAURAV SOLANKI, 4 PARA (SF)
4. IC-63960N MAJ SUBHRAPRATIM BOSE, JAK RIF, 3 RR
5. IC-64204N MAJ DUSHYANT POONIA, ASC, 55 RR
6. IC-65062N MAJ KASHISH WADHWA, SIKH, 6 RR
7. IC-65667P MAJ SANJAYA KUMAR, GUARDS, 21 RR
8. IC-67047X MAJ RAHUL SINGH, SIKH LI, 19 RR (POSTHUMOUS)
9. IC-68833H MAJ SREEKANT R, RAJPUT, 44 RR
10. IC-69885L MAJ PARAG GOMBER, RAJ RIF, 9 RR
11. IC-70439W MAJ VIKAS KUMAR, ARTY, 1 AR
12. IC-73196F MAJ HIMANSHU PAREEK, ARMD, 53 RR
13. IC-73754X MAJ VIRENDRA SINGH CHANDEL, GRENADIERS, 29 RR
14. SS-42879N CAPT RINTOMON THACHIL, 21 PARA (SF)
15. IC-75916W LT PANKAJ KUMAR, 18 MAHAR
16. IC-76425M LT ABHAY SHARMA, 1 PARA (SF)
17. JC-540555M SUB DHYAN SINGH ADHIKARI, KUMAON, 50 RR
18. JC-612640N SUB TEK BAHADUR RANA, 2/4 GR
19. 3192105Y HAV DULI CHAND, 2 PARA (SF)
20. 13622406L HAV WARKADE ASHOK SHANKAR, 2 PARA (SF)
21. 13622568W HAV SUNIL KUMAR SINGH, PARA, 18 RR
22. 2895600Y NK KARTAR SINGH, RAJ RIF, 18 RR
23. 2998440K NK SAMIR KUMAR MIDYA, 2 RAJPUT
24. 4571766P NK GOURAB SEN, 18 MAHAR
25. 13623908A NK MANILAL DEB BARMA, 9 PARA (SF)
26. 2608053X L/NK MOHD FEROZ KHAN, MADRAS, 38 RR (POSTHUMOUS)
27. 2897845N L/NK HAMMA RAM, RAJ RIF, 18 RR
28. 13623989L L/NK DHARMA NAND PANDEY, PARA, 18 RR
29. 14439779F L/NK SANJAY KUMAR, ARTY, 62 RR
30. 15157908W L/NK V ANTHONY NIRMAL VIJI, ARTY, 111 ROCKET REGT (POSTHUMOUS)
31. 15572631N L/NK WAGH KAILASH LAHU, 107 ENGRS REGT (POSTHUMOUS)
32. 18003189H L/NK DEEPAK KUMAR VERMA, 70 ENGRS, 703 FD COY (POSTHUMOUS)
33. 2501110W SEP JAGDEEP KUMAR, PUNJAB, 22 RR
34. 2502628W SEP AJIT KAPOOR, PUNJAB, 22 RR
35. 4367466M SEP SENTIREMBA, 5 ASSAM
36. G/5002293K RFN CHAMAN LAL, 1 ASSAM RIFLES
37. G/5010541K RFN PRASANAJIT BAL, 1 ASSAM RIFLES
38. 15164971N GUNNER MOHAMMED EJRAEL SHAIKH, ARTY, 111 ROCKET REGT
39. 15621991W GDSM SUNIL KUMAR, GUARDS, 21 RR

MENTION-IN-DESPATCHES

OPERATION RAKSHAK

1. IC-62911Y MAJ VIVEK YADUBANSHI, 3/1 GR
2. IC-63475Y MAJ ANIL KUMAR YADAV, ARMY AVN, 37 (I) R & O FLT
3. IC-67051A MAJ AMANDEEP SINGH, ASC, 30 RR
4. IC-70723M MAJ SUSHIL CHAND, ENGRS, 6 RR
5. IC-72403W MAJ SIDDHARTHA SINHA, 7 GARH RIF
6. 4078449N NK TRILOK SINGH, 3 GARH RIF
7. 4078472F NK CHATUR SINGH, 3 GARH RIF
8. 9104594A NK TILAK RAJ, 17 JAK LI
9. 4283389X L/NK MANGRA ORAON, 15 BIHAR
10. 4286978Y SEP DHARMENDRA KUMAR YADAV, 15 BIHAR
11. 4581457A SEP MAGRE RAHUL BHIMRAO, MAHAR, 30 RR
12. 3009746A SEP PRASHANT KUMAR, RAJPUT, 44 RR
13. 4201803F SEP AJAY VEER, KUMAON, 50 RR
14. 2502449W SEP JOGINDER SINGH MANHAS, PUNJAB, 53 RR
15. 4088524A RFN RAJESH SINGH, 3 GARH RIF
16. 13771971F RFN ARVIND PARIHAR, JAK RIF, 3 RR
17. 2703346N GDR UMRAV GURJAR, 5 GRENADIERS
18. 15619678M GDSM RAM LAL MEENA, GUARDS, 21 RR
19. 13627254Y PTR GOVIND SINGH, PARA, 18 RR (POSTHUMOUS)
20. 15176479P GNR ANIL SINGH BHADWAL, ARTY, 18 RR
21. 15498789Y SWR SIDHESWAR PRADHAN, ARMD, 22 RR

OPERATION MEGHDOOT
1. 15427804Y NK GURSEWAK SINGH, AMC, 328 FD HOSP (POSTHUMOUS)

OPERATION RHINO
1. IC-63148N MAJ KUSHVIR NANDA, 2 RAJPUT
2. 4374618L SEP DIPAK DEKA, 2 ASSAM
3. G/5005610L RFN M THANGBOY HAOKIP, 33 AR

OPERATION HIFAZAT

1. 3407567P SEP RAJVINDER SINGH, 18 SIKH

Indian Navy

Lt Cdr Manoran Kumar

Lt Cdr Manoran Kumar

Lt Cdr Manoran Kumar (52423 T) and Lt Cdr Kapish Singh Muwal (52360 Z), Shaurya Chakra (Posthumous)

For bravery and courage while saving fellow submariners and fighting fire onboard INS Sindhuratna

On 25 Feb 14 with a crew of 94 personnel embarked onboard, INS Sindhuratna sailed for sea examination post completion of refit. During the early hours of 26 Feb at about 0530 hrs, excessive build-up of smoke was reported in the IIIrd compartment which also houses one-half of the submarine’s main batteries.

Lt Cdr Kapish Singh Muwal

Lt Cdr Kapish Singh Muwal

Lt Cdr Manoranjan Kumar and Lt Cdr Kapish Singh Muwal in their capacity as the Officer-in-charge (IIIrd compartment) & Deputy Electrical officer respectively immediately mobilized all available personnel and damage control assets and commenced valiant effort towards controlling the grave emergency. As the ambient temperature in the compartment increased due to heat and as the visibility reduced, both officers, unmindful of their personal safety continued to fight the emergency.

At one stage, they realized that conditions for human survival in the vicinity of damage had deteriorated and they immediately ordered evacuation of the damage control team comprising 13 personnel to safer areas thus drastically reducing the number of casualties. They not only did the fire-fighting themselves but also provided extremely vital inputs to the Command Post on the status of damage control and further likely implications. They limited the damage area preventing the spread of fire to the battery compartment, thus obviating an extremely dangerous possibility of damage to entire submarine. Even the breathing had become extremely difficult both continued pushing the crew to safety and fought the emergency undeterred. They were last seen fighting the fire/smoke, rather than saving themselves. Their exemplary effort to douse the smoke in extremely hazardous conditions was beyond the call of duty, which ensured survival of 94 crew members and safety of submarine.

The officers laid down their life keeping with their responsibility as the Compartment officer & Electrical officer, safety of the submarine and personnel above their own. Their singular act of courage and bravery resulted in the damage being contained, casualties being minimized and extensive structural damage to the submarine being averted. Their valor and dedication is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Navy and ethos of the officer corp. Both the officers have been awarded Shaurya Chakra (Posthumous).

Cdr Gosavi  Kaustubh Vijaykumar

Cdr Gosavi Kaustubh Vijaykumar

Cdr Gosavi Kaustubh Vijaykumar (03657-K), Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry)

For search and rescue in adverse weather conditions

On 27 Sep 13, Cdr KVK Gosavi, while borne with 842 Squadron (Helicopters) was required to undertake medical evacuation of two crew from a merchant ship (MV Kurobe) located 35 NM into the sea off Mumbai. At that time both the helicopters in the Squadron were under maintenance. The officer exhibited professional competence and planning skills of a high order in ensuring that the helicopter was made available for the mission without compromising in maintenance tasks.

Considering the prevalent adverse weather, extended range of the ship at sea and the available experience in the Squadron, the officer led from the front and piloted the mission as Captain of the aircraft.

During the mission, the officer displayed superior flying skills and landed the helicopter safely in hostile sea conditions with utmost precision on an improvised helipad precariously located between two large cranes about 25 meters apart. The low visibility, ongoing rains and strong winds along with rough sea state required resolute and CPR was provided to both the patients, Commander KVK Gosavi innovatively embarked the patient, Mr Retituto Manlapaz, a Philippines national who required an immediate medical evacuation in the helicopter which was in SAR role on a Neil Robertson stretcher catering for the medical and flight safety. Thereafter the officer brought the patient to Mumbai safely transiting through the en route adverse weather and heavy rains thus effecting a successful MEDEVAC at extended range.

Commander KVK Gosavi, the pilot in Command of the helicopter maintained his composure, reassured his crew, and displayed a high level of professionalism and skill in piloting at aircraft whilst effecting a successful MEDEVAC of a foreign national at extended ranges at sea. The high levels of professionalism and resoluteness towards accomplishment of the mission in hostile weather conditions, whilst operating at fringes of Chetak helicopter ranges are beyond the call of duty, highly praiseworthy and in keeping with the highest traditions of the Services. Commander KVK Gosavi, has been awarded Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry) for the same.

Indian Air Force

Wing Commander Huvey Upadhyaya

Wing Commander Huvey Upadhyaya

Wing Commander Huvey Upadhyaya Flying (Pilot), Shaurya Chakra

On 01 March 2014, Wing Commander Huvey Upadhyaya while on an air maintenance sortie in Siachen region received an urgency message from the Air Traffic Control (ATC) stating that an Army ALH helicopter had not returned to Base Camp and was not contactable. Wg Cdr Upadhyaya displayed courage, initiative and high situational awareness in reacting to the prevalent situation. He offloaded his helicopter at the helipad and set course in search & rescue of the overdue Army helicopter. Undeterred by the fast deteriorating weather and discounting his personal safety, he continued searching for the helicopter. He located the wreckage of the crashed helicopter at an altitude of 17, 600 feet. The terrain of the crash site was undulating, mired by deep crevasses covered with soft snow and had a high slope gradient. The strong winds prevalent at that time made landing the helicopter in the area an extremely difficult task. Even a delay of five minutes would have led to closure of the weather window and the rescue opportunity would have been lost. This would have led to certain death of the pilots of the crashed helicopter due to extreme cold, high altitude, shock and injuries. Exhibiting utmost courage and exceptional flying skills, Wg Cdr Huvey Upadhhyaya landed his helicopter in between the crevasses near the crash site. While on partial power, he hovered his helicopter ensuring that edge of the helicopter ski was in light contact with the soft snow and rescued the injured pilots. Throughout this operation, he was under constant threat of enemy observation. Even a slight mishandling of helicopter controls during the operation would have led to a catastrophic accident. Through his valiant act under trying and near impossible conditions, he saved the lives of two army pilots and accentuated the spirit of jointmanship.

For his act of exceptional courage, resolute determination and extraordinary flying skills, Wing Commander Huvey Upadhyaya was awarded of Shaurya Chakra.

Wing Commander Abhyankar Aniket Santosh

Wing Commander Abhyankar Aniket Santosh

Wing Commander Abhyankar Aniket Santosh Flying (Pilot), Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)

On 17 Aug 2013, Wg Cdr Abhyankar was tasked to rescue a foreign national, who was part of a Indo-British expedition, from ‘Saser Kangri’ which is at an altitude of 23,000 feet. At these altitudes, the helicopter operates at the extremes of its flight envelopes, has exceedingly restricted reserve of power, no margin for error and hence exceptional piloting skills are required to handle the helicopter safely. On the day of the planned rescue, the weather in the sector was marginal with poor visibility, strong gusty winds and clouding which further added to the challenges being faced by the pilot. Braving these adverse circumstances, Wg Cdr Abhyankar skilfully maneuvered and landed his helicopter in an extremely restricted & uneven terrain which was mired in crevasses & loose snow. He evacuated the paralyzed casualty to Tangtse where basic medical aid was available. By now, the weather in the area had further deteriorated which mandated an unplanned night halt at Tangtse and further evacuation to Leh was only possible the next day. Throughout this act of valor, Wg Cdr Abhyankar, used his experience, judgement and exceptional flying skills and was able to save a precious life. He also kept up the highest traditions of the IAF and displayed exceptional courage, highest level of leadership, professionalism and skills.

For this act of exceptional courage, exemplary leadership and highest level of professionalism, Wing Commander Abhyankar Aniket Santosh was awarded Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry).

Wing Commander Rahul Shukla

Wing Commander Rahul Shukla

Wing Commander Rahul Shukla Flying (Pilot), Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)

On 20 January 2014, Wing Commander Rahul Shukla was detailed to ferry a MiG-21 T-69 aircraft from Kalaikunda to Ambala with a refueling halt at Allahabad. After take off from Allahabad, while climbing passing 5 Km, he heard a bang from the rear portion of the aircraft. He immediately checked his engine parameters and noticed a rise in Jet Pipe Temperature (JTP). As he reduced power to control the JPT, his Main Hydraulic Warning light came on with pressure gauge indicating a drop in hydraulic pressure. (The failure of the main hydraulic system manifests into non-availability of certain critical systems which results in reduced controllability of the aircraft). The situation was further aggravated due to the marginal weather conditions of poor visibility and low cloud base. Despite being faced with a grave emergency, with uncertain and unclear indications of the exact cause, he retained his composure and took the correct actions of recovering the aircraft on RW 30 at Allahabad. Since the cloudy conditions prohibited visual contact with the ground, he retained his ventral drop tank so as to preclude jettisoning it over a populated area. Taking cognizance of the marginal weather conditions, he positioned himself on the final approach for landing, and due to the failure of the main hydraulic system, was forced to lower the undercarriage by emergency means and subsequently execute an immediate overweight landing without flaps necessitating much higher landing speed than the normal stipulated speed. The reduced visibility due to weather and high rate of descent of 10 m/s on the final approach path provided him a window of only 8-9 seconds to pick up the runway, align and execute a landing. The frontal visibility was further restricted by the high nose up altitude due to the non availability of flaps. While on the final approach path, the JPT had stopped registering due to probable fire in rear fuselage. Maintaining his composure in even increasing adverse circumstances, he carried out a flawless overweight flap-less landing at Allahabad and successfully stopped the aircraft without any damage on the runway. During the landing roll, observers on ground noticed and confirmed smoke and fire in the fuselage section of the aircraft. After landing, he also assisted in effective fire-fighting operations. Post flight assessment revealed extensive damage to the aircraft due to fire.

Wg Cdr Rahul Shukla displayed exemplary courage, presence of mind, and was able to maintain his composure in adverse circumstances which led to the safe recovery of an aircraft with an engine problem in adverse weather conditions. His skilful piloting and professional handling of an adverse situation prevented probable civilian casualties on ground and has set an excellent professional example for others to emulate.

For his act of exemplary courage and professional handling of an unserviceable aircraft under difficult circumstances, Wing Commander Rahul Shukla was awarded Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry).

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