STATE TIMES NEWS
NEW DELHI: Major Ketan Sharma who sacrificed his life fighting a hardcore Pakistani terrorist was among 15 Army personnel awarded the Sena Medal for their exceptional courage and bravery on Army Day on Friday.Major Sharma had led his team from the front to eliminate the dreaded terrorist after getting information about his presence in a house in Badura village of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on June 17, 2019.Army chief General M M Naravane handed over the award and citation to the Major’s wife Era Mandar Sharma, who was accompanied by Commanding Officer of 19 Rashtriya Rifles Col Dharmendra Yadav, at an event in Delhi.Army Day is celebrated on January 15 every year in recognition of Field Marshal K M Cariappa’s taking over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander in 1949.It is celebrated in the national capital, as well as in all the six Army Command Headquarters.According to the citation, Major Sharma was part of the operation in Badura.“At 0600 hours, after strengthening the initial cordon, the officer led his team to search the target house. As the search commenced, the terrorist attempted to break the cordon by firing indiscriminately,” it said.Quick retaliatory fire by Major Sharma foiled the escape bid and the terrorist made another desperate attempt to break the cordon and fled into a nearby dense foliage during which one jawan was injured.Displaying great tactical acumen and calm composure, Major Sharma continued engaging the terrorist and in a gallant move came out of cover and evacuated the injured personnel to safety.During this action, the officer and his buddy sustained multiple gunshot wounds.“Despite being grievously injured, Major Sharma ensured evacuation of his buddy and continued to engage the terrorist from close quarters in a very heavy firefight, which resulted in elimination of the foreign terrorist, later identified as Abu Hureira,” the citation said.Major Sharma, however, succumbed to the grievous injuries he had sustained and made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty, while displaying ferocious courage and unparalleled fighting spirit.For his exceptional courage and bravery in eliminating a dreaded foreign terrorist and saving the lives of his teammates, ultimately making the supreme sacrifice of his life in the line of duty, Major Sharma was awarded with the Sena Medal posthumously.On Army Day, 13 officers of the Northern Command, eight officers of the Eastern Command, one officer each of the Southern Command and the Central Command received unit citations from the Army chief, while 15 Army personnel were awarded the Sena Medal.
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