Defence Investiture awards 2002

The Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the Defence Minister Shri George Fernandes at the Defence Investiture Ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

NEW DELHI, Nov 2, 2002(Adapted from the Tribune News) : Two army officers and a Havildar were today given wartime Vir Chakra awards for their brave exploits against the Pakistani forces along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir during the year-long “Operation Parakram”.

The three — Major Manoj M Deshpande, Havildar Chuni Lal of the 8 Jammu and Kashmir light infantry and Major Amitabh Roy of the Garhwal Rifles — were honoured with Vir Chakras awarded “for gallantry in the face of enemy” for what their citation described “special missions” on the LoC during the country’s forward troop deployment against Pakistan.

This is for the first time after the 1999 Kargil conflict that the government gave away the Vir Chakras.

Armed forces officers and jawans who made daredevil exploits against terrorists, ploughed through mounds of rubble to rescue people during the Gujarat quake to Army climbers who made history on Mt Everest were also among 79 service personnel decorated by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalaam today.

At the glittering military investiture ceremony held in the ceremonious Darbar Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhavan in the presence of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani and other distinguished guests, the President presented eight Param Vishist Seva Medals (PVSM), four Kirti Chakras, 26 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals , three Vir Chakras and 38 Shaurya Chakras.

President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam presents the Kirti Chakra to Capt Pankaj Dhayani.

Capt Pankaj Dhyani of the 11 Rashtriya Rifles, who single handedly killed four terrorists in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir and Corporal A.K. Mishra of the IAF who, working continuously for four days, rescued 19 persons, including women and children, in worst quake affected Bhuj town were decorated with Kirti Chakra, the nation’s second highest award for conspicuous gallantry otherwise than in the face of the enemy.

Two other Kirti Chakra to Lance Havildar Jora Singh and Havildar Laskar Singh were awarded posthumously again for daredevil exploits against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.

Wife of Lance Havildar Jora Singh of the 1st Sikh Light Infantry, who died fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, wipes her tears as she proceeds to receive the Kirti Chakra awarded posthumously to her husband.

One of the recipients holds back her tears during the Defence Investiture Ceremony.

Air Marshal T M Asthana AoC-in-C Southern Air Command, Air Marshal MB Madon AOC-in-C Eastern Air Command, Lieut Gen T.S. Shergil Director General Ordinance Services and Lieut Gen S.K. Jain Director General Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Corp were among eight officers honoured with PVSM.

Major Hitesh Bhalla of the Maratha Light Infantry was awarded a bar to Shaurya Chakra for foiling an infiltration bid on the LOC. The officer is also a recipient of Sena Medal.

A young pilot Flt Lt Sameer Riaz Kagdi was also honoured posthumously with a Shaurya Chakra. The pilot with a record of flying 350 hours even during enemy shelling in the Siachen glacier — the world highest battlefield — was awarded for landing his chopper during trecherous cross currents at remote DaulatBeg oldi near the Karakoram Pass.

Begum Zohra Sameer, the brave pilot’s young widow was given a standing ovation in Darbar Hall as she walked upto the dais to receive the award from the President.

As many as 10 of 38 Shaurya Chakras were awarded posthumously.


1. Captain Pankaj Dhyani (IC-53604), Dogra, 11 Rashtriya Rifles
2. Havildar Lashkar Singh, 16 Sikh (Posthumous)
3. Lance Havildar Jora Singh, 1 Sikh Light Infantry (Posthumous)
4. Corporal Akhilesh Kumar Mishra, Safety Equipment Worker

1. Major Manoj M Deshpande (IC-53677), 8 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry
2. Major Amitabh Roy (IC-49511), 14 Garhwal Rifles
3. Havildar Chunni Lal, 8 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry

1. Major Hitesh Bhalla (IC-49510), 11 Maratha Light Infantry

1. Flight Lieutenant Sameer Riaz Kagdi (23771) Flying (Pilot) (Posthumous)
2. Naik Amrit Malla, 2/9 Gorkha Rifles (Posthumous)
3. Lieutenant Hemant Singh (IC-58706), 7 Guards (Posthumous)
4. Supdt B/R GDE-II Ram Naresh, Border Roads Organisation
5. Rifleman Mohd Ajaz, 5 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (Posthumous).
6. Subedar Nain Singh, 4 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (Posthumous).
7. Sepoy Amrik Singh, 20 Sikh
8. Captain Manoj Kumar Patel (IC-57048), Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, 3 Rashtriya Rifles
9. Captain Nanda Kumar K (IC-54160), Dogra, 11 Rashtriya Rifles
10. Sepoy Sahib Singh, 22 Punjab (Posthumous)
11. Major Gautam Segan (IC-46704) Artillery, 169 Field Regiment
12. Corporal Sanjeev Kumar Arora, Instrument Fitter
13. Leading Aircraftsman Amar Kumar Bajpai, Missile Fitter (Mechanical)
14. Leading Aircraftsman Arvind Kumar, Clerk General Duties
15. Havildar Bikram Bahadur Singh, 12 Rajputana Rifles
16. Major Gurtej Singh Grewal (IC-57046), Artillery/169, Field Regiment
17. Sepoy Harvinder Singh, Sikh/16 Rashtriya Rifles
18. Subedar Ghadge Shivaji Krishna, Artillery/11 Rashtriya Rifles (Dogra)
19. Captain Saurabh Singh Shekhawat (IC-52871) 21 Para
20. Havildar Chanchal Singh, 18 Kumaon
21. Lance Havildar Mohinder Singh, Dogra Scouts
22. Naib Subedar Jigmey Namgyal, Special Frontier Force
23. Naib Subedar Chhering Norbu Bodh, Dogra
24. Havildar Bhag Chain, Dogra Scouts
25. Naik Mohinder Kumar, 9 Para (SF)
26. Paratrooper Rajesh Kumar, 1 Para (SF)
27. Sepoy Ramesh Chandrabhan Bahekar, Maratha Light Infantry / 27 Rashtriya Rifles
28. Havildar Radhakrishnan Kunju Panicker, 10 Madras (Posthumous)
29. Naib Subedar Somvir Singh, 9 Para (SF)
30. Lieutenant Mahesh Kumar (SC-00244), 5 Mahar (Borders) (Posthumous)
31. Major Deepak Rawat (IC-52353), Engineers/3 Rashtriya Rifles (Posthumous)
32. Lieutenant Arvind Kumar (SS-38983), 11 Sikh Light Infantry
33. Sepoy Laingaizuala, Assam/35 Rashtriya Rifles (Posthumous)
34. Lieutenant Sandeep Azad (IC-59855), 20 Sikh
35. Havildar Sher Singh, 20 Sikh
36. Lance Naik Suresh Kumar, 9 JAK Rifles


1. Air Marshal Teja Mohan Asthana, (7672) Flying (Pilot)
2. Air Marshal Manek Bomanshaw Madon, (7681) Flying (Pilot)
3. Lieutenant General Tejinder Singh Shergill (IC-15786), Armoured Corps
4. Lieutenant General Surendra Kumar Jain (IC-13954), Electronics and Mechanical Engineering
5. Lieutenant General Dattatray Balajirao Shekatkar (IC-14765), Maratha Light Infantry (Retired)
6. Lieutenant General Harcharan Singh (MR-01987), Army Medical Corps (Retired)
7. Surgeon Vice Admiral Hara Prasad Mukherjee, (75091-K) (Retired)
8. Air Marshal Sriperumbudur Raghavan, (6710) Logistics (Retired)

1. Lieutenant General Kamleshwar Davar (IC-14405), Armoured Corps
2. Lieutenant General Dharam Prakash Sehgal (IC-15403), Signals
3. Lieutenant General Madhav Anand Tutakne (MR-01817), AMC/AFMC Pune (Retired)
4. Major General Rana Sudhir Kumar Kapur (IC-16782), Engineers/HQ SC
5. Major General Rajinder Singh (IC-16953), Artillery/HQ 28 Inf Div
6. Major General Nirbhay Sharma (IC-17244), Para/HQ CIF (K)
7. Major General Pramod Kumar Grover (IC-17252), Engineers/HQ 26 Inf Div
8. Major General Rakesh Dass (IC-17267), Rajputana Rifles
9. Major General Dalvir Singh (IC-26279), Para/HQ CIF (K)
10. Major General Rajendra Pandit (IC-14586), 4 Gorkha Rifles (Retired)
11. Rear Admiral Ravi Chander Kochhar, (00752-H)
12. Rear Admiral Kizhupali Mohanan (00855-T)
13. Rear Admiral Sanjiv Kapoor (01005-H)
14. Rear Admiral Avinash Manjanath Telang, (40262-B)
15. Rear Admiral Nirmal Prasad Gupta, (40339-B)
16. Rear Admiral Mahendra Pratap Taneja, (01090-A)
17. Air Vice Marshal Rameshwar Nath (8913), Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics) (Retired)
18. Air Vice Marshal Thiruvengadam Ramanujam, (10695) Aeronautical Engineering (Electronics) (Retired).
19. Brigadier Mahesh Eranna (IC-32569), Garhwal Rifles/120 Inf Bde
20. Air Commodore Yashwant Rao Rane, (12210) Flying (Pilot)
21. Air Commodore Sadasivan Radhakrishnan (12408) Flying (Pilot)
22. Air Commodore Maheshwar Dutt, (11607) Flying (Pilot)
23. Air Commodore Selvam Kulandaisami Jayarajan, (11695) Logistics (Retired)
24. Colonel Krishan Kumar (IC-38736), Infantry
25. Chief Engineer (E&M) Hans Raj, (Retired)