New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee today awarded the ‘Shaurya Chakra’ gallantry medal to ITBP Inspector Manjeet Singh who led his commandos in repulsing an audacious terrorist attack on the Indian Consulate in Afghanistan’s Herat province last year. The 36-year-old Indo-Tibetan Border Police force officer was the lone recipient of this military medal amongst allparamilitary forces during the defence investiture ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here. Government had announced the decoration for the trooper this Republic Day.

There have been very few instances where paramilitary soldiers have been accorded this military honour. Singh was the contingent commander of the ITBP team which, in the wee hours of May 23, 2014 at the Indian Consulate in Herat, came came under heavy gunfire and rocket propelled grenade (RPG) shell attacks from terrorists.

The officer, his citation said, displayed great valour and meticulous planning “steadfastness, dedication to duty and rare quality of leadership in the face of imminent danger” and intelligently led his troops in thwarting the terror bid on the Indian mission which would have claimed many lives had it been successful. His four colleagues, Head Constable V P Malik and constables Praveen Kumar, Rakesh Kumar and Jadeja Rajender Singh have too been decorated with the highest police gallantry medal- the Presidents Police Medal for Gallantry-early this year.

Singh, who joined the paramilitary force in 2000, hails from Haryana’s Sonepat and was inducted for heading the ITBP unit at Herat in April 2013. Singh’s superior officials said the commando-trained officer has an excellent track record in the force, both operationally and otherwise, and he has already won a Director General (Force Chief) commendation disc for his devotion to duty and rose up to the rank of Inspector in quick time after he joined the force in the lowest entry rank of a constable.

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