Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa honoured Major S. Kartik Raja of 21 Assam Rifles for receiving the country’s third highest peacetime gallantry award, the Shaurya Chakra, on the occasion of the 65th Independence Day.
Ms Jayalalithaa presented him with a cheque for Rs 5 lakh on Wednesday. Last year, the state government increased the reward from Rs 45,000 to Rs 5 lakh to defence personnel from the state who are honoured for meritorious service.
Major Raja, who belongs to Tamil Nadu, had received the gallantry award from President Pratibha Patil last month. He was conferred the award for eliminating five terrorists in Thoubal district of Manipur on May 13, 2010.
The officer had led his team after receiving information on movement of 8-10 terrorists and displayed immense courage while chasing the militants in difficult hilly terrains.
Taking advantage of the inclement weather, he sent multiple teams to the site to seek contact. Around 12.25 am, one team came under indiscriminate firing. Displaying aggressive spirit Major Raja swiftly led his team to the place of contact while tactically readjusting the other teams.
On reaching the site, he saw about 10 terrorists running.
The officer pursued them through the difficult hilly jungle terrain and single-handedly eliminated two terrorists under illumination. The officer, amidst a hail of bullets, then closed in on to another entrenched terrorist and gunned him down from close quarters.
He also tightened the cordon and plugged in the escape routes. That move eliminated two more terrorists and resulted in the elimination of five hardcore terrorists and recovery of arms and incriminating documents.