By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 5 Feb: Two sons of Uttarakhand will be honoured at the Central Command Investiture Ceremony 2023. The ceremony is being held in Jabalpur on 8 February, this year.
Havildar Sonit Kumar Saini from Haridwar is being awarded the Sena Medal (Gallantry) posthumously, while Havildar Bhupendra Chand from Udham Singh Nagar is being presented the Sena Medal.
Lt General Yogendra Dimri, GOC-in-C, Central Command, will present 12 Gallantry Awards (including the two awardees from Uttarakhand), 22 Distinguished Service Awards and 16 GOC-in-C unit appreciations along with 4 Surya Command Trophies at the ceremony.
Havildar Sonit Kumar Saini of the 102 Engineer Regiment, was driving a Tatra vehicle tasked for induction of plant equipment in High Altitude Area for Operation Chaukas in the Eastern Sector.
On 24 September, 2021, at 3:30 p.m., the vehicle loaded with a JCB was approaching a blind turn where an offroad civil vehicle was parked. The Tatra was negotiating the blind turn when suddenly a 2.5 Ton vehicle with seven serving personnel appeared in front. The Tatra was boxed between the two vehicles on a steep slope. Havildar Sonit Kumar Saini, along with co-driver Naik Gurjant Singh, had to make a quick decision to save lives. Havildar Sonit Kumar Saini with complete disregard to his own safety and displaying raw courage swerved the vehicle in a controlled manner away from the oncoming vehicle and towards the 500 feet deep gorge. This brave act averted the head on collision and saved seven lives. However, the Tatra fell into the gorge resulting in the deaths of both. For his act of conspicuous gallantry courage and espirit-de-corps under most challenging circumstances, Havildar Sonit Kumar Saini will be awarded the ‘Sena Medal (Gallantry) (Posthumous) at the Investiture.
Havildar Bhupendra Chand of the Kumaon Regiment, 13th Battalion, The Rashtriya Rifles, from Udham Singh Nagar, as part of Company Commander’s Combat Action Team was deployed at a stop in a cordon in Ganderbal District on the night of 11 October, 2021. At 4:45 a.m., on being challenged by the Company Commander, a terrorist opened indiscriminate fire towards the troops deployed in the open and attempted to escape towards a dense orchard. The Non-Commissioned Officer, without awaiting orders, quickly relocated himself to a tactically advantageous cover and brought down effective fire on the fleeing terrorist thereby channelising him towards the designated killing ground. By displaying a very high degree of professionalism, field craft and fire control, he then moved forward at a distance of less than 20 metres from the terrorist exposing himself momentarily and covered the move of the Company Commander thereby assisting him in closing in with the terrorist and neutralising him without any harm and injury to own troops.
For the conspicuous act of gallantry and acting beyond the call of duty with utter disregard to his personal safety and high standards of fire control, Havildar Bhupendra Chand will be awarded the ‘Sena Medal (Gallantry)’ at Jabalpur.