Bhopal: Investiture ceremony of Army’s Southern Command held

Bhopal: We and the nation are thankful to those martyrs who laid their lives serving nation and also salute their families, their exemplary gallantry will inspire the coming generation said Lieutenant General PM Hariz, General Officer Commanding- in-Chief Southern Command here on Thursday. He was addressing the Investiture Ceremony of the Southern Command where he gave away gallantry and distinguished service awards to army personnel. The awards were given away to 63 Officers, Junior Commissioned Officer and Other Ranks officials. During the ceremony 24 Sena Medals (Gallantry), six Yudh Seva Medals, 14 Sena Medals (Distinguished), 18 Vishisht Seva Medals and four Bar to Vishisht Seva Medals were conferred. Three officers and four other ranks were conferred with gallantry awards posthumously. The Army Commander also bestowed Unit Citation to 19 units of Southern Command for their meritorious and outstanding performance. The atmosphere at ceremony became sombre as the family members of the martyred soldiers came to receive the award given posthumously to the soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice. The next of kin of the posthumous awardee received the awards from Lieutenant General Hariz. These included Sunita, wife of late Sepoy Rama Moorthy, and Jamuna Rani wife of late Hav Elumalai M. The two soldiers displayed extreme grit and nerves of steel when they kept guiding the rescue teams while they were themselves buried 35 feet under snow after being swept away by an avalanche in the Siachen Glacier. The rescue team recovered nine dead bodies and one army men.

Likewise, the wife of Lieutenant Colonel RS Pawar major Reenu Ohlan (retired) and wife of Major Krishnan Manoj Kumar, Beenu Manoj received the awards. The officers showed utter disregard to their personal safety and laid down their lives while trying to contain the fire at Central Ammunition Depot, Pulgaon.

The wife of Major Tahir Hussain Khan, Naseem Sultana received the award, the officer made the supreme sacrifice for the nation while flying the Dhruv helicopter and successfully inducting troops to a critical location before the helicopter crashed due to extremely difficult weather conditions. The ceremony was organised by Sudarshan Chakra Corps headed by Lieutenant General IS Ghuman and was well attended by civil and military dignitaries and other distinguished guests including family members of the martyrs.

WE want to thank Madhya Pradesh government for helping out ex-servicemen in every aspects. I had asked DGP Rishi Shukla to convey my message to the chief secretary and the chief minister. Lt Gen Hariz, said during press conference. Soon a residential school will come up in the State for the children of army men, he informed. “The status given to martyrs is different in every state, as they have their own policy while the Government of India and the army have their own parameters,” said Lt Gen Hariz.

Speaking about the Doklam issue Lt Gen Hariz said that problem has been resolved however added that the Army cannot afford to lower its guard since it has been resolved. He further affed that nowadays the use of bullet and the gun have become are secondary as a war of words is going on in media and social media. The Mountain Strike Force can be used at any front they can be used in Northern or on the Western mountains, he said. Informing about the One Rank One Pension issue, he claimed that it will be resolved any time adding that the issue of 7th pay commission has been resolved. Army is a way of life and not just a profession, youths have shown keen interest in joining forces, he stated.

Naseema Sultana, wife of martyr Major Taher Hussain Khan, now wants to join the Army after her husband died in the line of duty. “We got married just seven months ago. I was there with him when this unfortunate incident happened. We have to face whatever life throws at us as we have no control over it. Though physically we have been parted but he lives inside me and very shortly I will join army, she added.

Major Khan had volunteered for the operation launched to search a Helicopter in village Dardsun of Jammu and Kashmir despite inclement weather on February 11,2015. The officer during the operation put his vast flying experience and immaculate flying skills to overcome the hazardous weather and successfully inducted more than ten teams of three Infantry units before attaining martyrdom due a fatal crash owing to weather. Major Taher Hussain Khan is awarded “SENA MEDAL (gallantry) (posthumously) for his supreme sacrifice of laying down his life in order to successfully induct troops within an area of absolute dangerous weather conditions. He was the resident of Hyderabad, the Officer had 12 years of service. He is now survived by his parents and wife.

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