New Delhi: Anti-Maoist operations in Naxal hotbeds have emerged as the most enduring and tough assignment for the country’s largest paramilitary CRPF as these offensives have not only fetched a military gallantry medal to the force but also the maximum citations to its men.
The central force, which has deployed more than 70,000 troops for anti-naxal operations, has received a ‘Shaurya Chakra’ for the second consecutive time after its CoBRA commando Ashish Tiwary was decorated with the bravery medal last year.
While Assistant Commandant (AC) Ravindra K Singh was announced as the lone non-Army officer to get the third highest Army gallantry medal on the Republic day eve, four other CRPF personnel were decorated with the top-notch Presidents police medal for gallantry for “conspicuous bravery” in Naxal operations.
Singh, who lost his left-leg in the daring operation, is credited in the paramilitary force as the man who averted another ‘Dantewada type’ ambush on CRPF in which 75 personnel were killed in 2010 in Chhattisgarh.
The operation, in Jharkhand’s Lohardaga last year, saw the Naxals blowing up a total of 192 landmines simultaneously in an ambush, leading to the killing of 11 policemen and injuring 44.
In yet another operation in 2010 in Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh district CRPF AC Prakash Ranjan Mishra, Head constable Ram Chander and Constable Surjit Singh were honoured with the gallantry medal for taking on armed naxals amidts civilians while death was a “whisker away” from them.