NEW DELHI (TIP): Major Mukund Varadarajan and Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh will be posthumously awarded the nation’s highest peacetime gallantry award, the Ashoka Chakra, during the Republic Day parade this year. Both laid down their lives while fighting heavily-armed terrorists in separate gun-battles in J&K last year.


While the Ashoka Chakra for Major Varadarajan, who himself killed two terrorists before breathing his last, was announced in the Independence Day gallantry awards list last year, sources said Naik Singh’s name will be announced on January 26.


Naik Singh was killed in an intense gunfight with a group of terrorists which was intercepted in the forests at Kalaroos in Kupwara district on August 24 last year. Four of the militants were killed in the encounter due to Naik Singh’s exemplary bravery.

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Major Mukund and his “buddy” Sepoy Vikram Singh, in turn, had displayed “raw courage” in cornering three terrorists, who had targeted polling officials in Shopian district of J&K, in a “cement outhouse” at a village on April 25. The two brave soldiers succumbed to injuries while killing the three terrorists in the encounter. Sepoy Singh has been awarded the third-highest gallantry medal, the Shaurya Chakra.

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