Indian soldiers get gallantry awards on Republic Day for killing Kashmiris


NEW DELHI - Anti-militancy operations in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir have got the state police and the CRPF the lion’s share of 65 out of 107 gallantry medals announced today, ahead of Republic Day.

As many as 38 J-K Police personnel have been named as awardees of the Police Medal for Gallantry (PMG), followed by 35 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force, out of which 27 have been given the honour for operations in the Kashmir Valley.

The rest of the bravery medals won by the CRPF are for operations in the anti-Naxal theatre of Jharkhand. Out of the 107 total gallantry medals announced, seven have been given posthumously.

Police forces of Chhattisgarh (10), Maharashtra (7), Telangana (6) and Delhi Police (3) are among others who have been named as awardees of the PMG this time.

The PMG is the second highest police bravery medal followed by the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry (PPMG). There were no awardees for the PPMG this time. In all, the Union home ministry today declared that a total of 795 police personnel have been named as awardees of various types of medals.

This includes president’s police medal for distinguished service to 75 personnel and police medal for meritorious service to 613 cops. “This year five officers from the Indian Police Service (IPS) will receive the police medal for gallantry,” the home ministry said in a statement.

“Tighter norms have been used to select awardees for the president’s police medal for distinguished service and police medal for meritorious service this year,” it said. In a departure from tradition, the maximum number of such medals were awarded to the lowest ranks of policemen –Constables and Havildars — at 382, followed by 183 to the Assistant Sub-Inspectors, Sub-Inspectors and Inspector ranks, 116 to Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSP) and Assistant Commandant ranks and only 10 of these went to the senior ranks of Deputy Inspector General (DIG) and IG.

“The home ministry has made it a point to ensure that the lower ranks of the police forces get due recognition. The least medals went to the higher ranks this year. It is bottom heavy this time,” a senior official said. Security forces, that includes the J-K Police and its Special Operations Group (SOG), the CRPF and the Army have been undertaking anti-militancy operations in the Kashmir Valley as part of concerted efforts against militant activities, especially after the killing of Burhan Wani in July, 2016.

Over 200 militants have been killed in these operations during the last year alone in the Valley — the highest in the last seven years.

New Delhi