25/01/2017 10:23 PM IST | Updated 25/01/2017 10:32 PM IST

Surgical Strike Commandos Get Gallantry Medals

Officers and soldiers who died fighting ammunition depot fire also honoured.

The India Today Group via Getty Images
Indian Army Para Commandos march during the Army Day parade in New Delhi.

Over 20 soldiers from the 4 Para and 9 Para (Special Forces) - who carried out the surgical strikes inside Pakistan last September in retaliation to the Uri Brigade attack - have been given gallantry medals this year.

On September 29, commandos of the 4 Para and 9 Para carried out a simultaneous strike deep inside Pakistan destroying as many as 7 terror launch pads. The arc of the surgical strike was spread over 250 Km. Pakistan military facilities were also destroyed by the commandos during the strike. Nearly 40 terrorists who were about to infiltrate into India were killed in the cross border strike. In a break from the past, India claimed responsibility for the operation thereby introducing an "element of uncertainty" in its Pakistan policy.

Major Rohit Suri, 4 Para, has been awarded the Kirti Chakra – the second highest peace time gallantry award. Major Raj Chndra, 4 Para, Major Deepak Kumar Upadhaya,9 Para, Captain Ashutosh Kumar ,4 Para, Paratrooper Abdul Qand Naib, 9 Para, and Subedar Vijay Kumar, 4 Para have been awarded the Shaurya Chakra – the third highest peace time gallantry award. Others have been given the Sena Medal (Gallantry).

Five soldiers who died fighting the fire at the Central Ammunition Depot (CAD) in Pulgaon have also been awarded.

Defective anti-tank mines stored at the CAD exploded killing 19 people last June. Lieutenant Colonel Ranjit Singh Pawar, Major Krishanan Manoj Kumar Army Ordnances Corps, Naik Ran Singh, Sepoy Ram Chander and Sepoy Satish of the Defence Security Corps died trying to douse the fire that followed the explosion. They have been awarded the Sena Medal (Gallantry).

Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi Lieutenant General PM Hariz, the two senior officers of the Indian army who were overlooked for the post of Chief of Army Staff, have been awarded Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) among others.

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