Major Mukund Varadarajan and Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh were on 26 January 2015 posthumously awarded with the highest peacetime military honour the Ashok Chakra by President Pranab Mukherjee. The awards were received by their wives at the 66th Republic Day celebrations.
Both the army men sacrificed their lives while battling groups of militants in separate operations in Shopian and Kupwara districts of Kashmir.
In April 2014, Major Mukund Varadarajan had killed three terrorists in an encounter in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir. He was an officer in the 44th Battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles (22 Rajput) of the Indian Army. However, he died after being severely hurt in the operation.
In August 2014, Naik Neeraj Singh died after heavy fire from terrorists. He was leading a search operation in general area Gurdaji of Kupwara district. He was serving in the 57th Battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles.
About Ashok Chakra
• Ashok Chakra is India’s highest peacetime military decoration awarded for valor, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield.
• The decoration is awarded either to military or civilian personnel and can be awarded posthumously.
• The Ashok Chakra medal is circular gold gilt with the chakra (wheel) of Ashoka in the center surrounded by a lotus wreath and with an ornate edge.
When: 26 January 2015