"There lived a man who loved me with all his heart... There lived a man who fathered my child....There lived a man who believed in integrity.... There lived a man who loved his profession....There lived a man who never feigned to be a hero........"
These lines of tribute by Indhu Rebecca Varghese aka Indhu Mukund became immortal on Thursday when her husband Major Mukund Varadarajan of 44 Rashtriya Rifles was awarded the country's highest
peacetime gallantry award 'Ashok Chakra' posthumously this year.
Major Mukund Varadarajan had eliminated two terrorists on April 25 at Kerewa-Manlo in village Qazipathri, six Kilometres west of Shopian. The slain militants were responsible for the killing of an election official on duty a day before in Shopian district.
"Major Mukund in an aggressive and swift operation in Shopian on April 25, 2014 eliminated two dreaded terrorists including those who were responsible for the killing of an election official on duty a day before," said Colonel SD Goswami, defence spokesman at Northern Command headquarters.
Three militants of Hizbul Mujahedeen and two soldiers were killed in the operation. Major Mukund's buddy Sepoy Vikram Singh of 44 Rashtriya too was awarded third highest peacetime gallantry award Shaurya Chakra posthumously for this operation.
Born on April 12, 1983, Major Mukund of Tambram, Major Mukund Vardarajan was an outstanding soldier and an exceptional human being who attained martyrdom in the late hours of April 25.
Army officials said he had a passion for the forces from childhood and was commissioned into 22nd battalion of the Rajput Regiment on March 18 2006 from Officers Training Academy, Chennai.
Affably called 'Maddy' by his friends, Major Mukund had a fine sense of humour easily endearing himself to his fellow officers and troops.
A keen professional soldier, he excelled in training and lead from the front by personal example. He is survived by his wife and three year old daughter Arshea.
Sepoy Vikram Singh belonged to Rewari, Haryana which has a fine tradition of soldiering. Born on March 15, 1983, Sepoy Singh got enrolled into 17th Battalion of the Rajput Regiment of the Army on October 7, 2002 and was serving in 44 Rashtriya Rifles since December 19, 2012.
A soft - spoken gentle giant, Vikram was the epitome of soldiering excellence. He participated in many operations, always volunteering for risky tasks. Vikram is survived by his wife Sushila and son, Abhishek Kumar.
"In addition, the valiant soldiers of the Northern Command were also awarded Eight Shaurya Chakras and 25 Sena Medals (Gallantry). These awards bear testimony to the bravery, motivation and dedication of the officers and men deployed in the command theatre," said Colonel Goswami.
12 personnel including four posthumously would be given the third-highest gallantry award Shaurya Chakra for their respective acts of bravery in Jammu and Kashmir, northeastern states and other counter insurgency operations. A total of 55 gallantry awards have been given on this Independence Day.
Also, Two navy officers who lost their lives in rescue operation in INS Sindhuratna, met with an accident on mumbai naval dockyard have got Shaurya Chakra for gallantry (posthomusly) INS Sindhuratna accident happened on February 26 following which the then navy chief Admiral DK Joshi had to quit.