The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is the lead force of Anti-Naxal operations in the country has won many police and military gallantry awards for the past many years for their exploits.
On 25th January, two CRPF CoBRA commandos have been decorated with the Shaurya Chakra for an anti-Naxal operation in Jharkhand. The operation was held in Jharkhand’s Latehar district that led to the killing of six Maoist cadres and the recovery of a heavy assortment of arms and ammunition in 2016.
Assistant Commandant Vikash Jakhar and Sub-Inspector Riyaz Alam Ansari were awarded the Shaurya Chakra. They belonged to the 209th battalion of the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA). CoBRA is a special CRPF unit raised for conducting intelligence-based jungle warfare and counter-insurgency operations.
Ansari was part of the raid team led by Jakhar which killed six Naxals after a fierce gun battle between the two sides in the jungles of Karamdih village in Latehar district on November 21, 2016. Among the six Naxals, gunned down by the security forces in the Karamdih forest, two have been identified as a sub-zonal commander and the area commander of the Naxals. Police said the sub-zonal commander was identified as Shyam Sundar Singh alias Deepak Khairwar of Saramagao village of Manika Police Station area of Latehar who carried a reward of rupees five lakhs on his head and the other Naxal was identified as Nagendra Yadav. A small team of these commandos had a close encounter with a strong squad of Naxals near the Koel river, right on the Chhattisgarh-Jharkhand border. Few more Naxals were suspected to have been killed in this operation.
Jakhar’s citation said, “displayed exceptional leadership qualities, raw grit and moral and physical courage risking his own life during the operation.”
Similarly, Ansari’s citation said he displayed “a spirit of selfless sacrifice and sterling qualities of a leader in keeping with the highest traditions of the force.”
The Shaurya Chakra is the third highest peacetime military decoration after the Ashoka Chakra and the Kirti Chakra.
– By Souvik Pati
University Law College, Odisha