Paramvir Chakra is the highest military decoration in India
Paramvir Chakra is the highest wartime gallantry medal for officers and other enlisted personnel of all military branches of India for the highest degree of valour in the presence of the enemy, on land, at sea or in the air.
It is made of bronze. It can be awarded posthumously. Param Vir Chakra is the equivalent award of Victoria Cross in the United Kingdom and the Medal of Honour in the United States.
Till date, Paramvir Chakra has been awarded to 21 Bravehearts from all over the nation.
Himachal Pradesh, on the other hand, has 4 such Bravehearts who has won Paramvir Chakra. Here is the list of them all.
Major Som Nath Sharma ( Kangra) PVC
Major Somnath Sharma (Dadh, Kangra) son of Major General Amarnath Sharma, was born on January 31, 1923, in Himachal Pradesh. He was commissioned in the Kumaon Regiment on February 22, 1942. On October 22, 1947, Pakistan launched the tribal invasion of Jammu & Kashmir. Major Somnath Sharma laid down his life for the country on November 3, 1947 in Badgam, Kashmir in a brave fight against Pakistan troops. Major General Amarnath Sharma received India’s first and highest wartime gallantry medal, Param Vir Chakra, on behalf of his son.
Major Dhan Singh Thapa – PVC
Major Dhan Singh Thapa, ( born on April 10, 1928 in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, was commissioned in the 8 Gorkha Rifles on August 28, 1949. The Sirijap valley, north of the Pangong Lake in Ladakh, was considered vital for the defence of Chushul airfield. The 1/8 Gorkha Rifles had outposts there to thwart any enemy encroachment in the area. One of these outposts named Sirijap-1 was held by a platoon of ‘D’ Company under the command of Major Dhan Singh Thapa when the Chinese attack came on October 21, 1962. Major Thapa repulsed the attack, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy. For his gallant act, Major Dhan Singh Thapa was honoured with the highest wartime gallantry medal, Param Vir Chakra.
Captain Vikram Batra – PVC
Captain Vikram Batra, (Palampur, Distt. Kangra) 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, and his Delta Company were given the task of recapturing Point 5140. Captain Batra single-handedly engaged three enemy soldiers in close combat and killed them. He was seriously injured during this combat but insisted on regrouping his men to continue with the given task at hand. Inspired by the extraordinary courage displayed by Captain Batra, the soldiers of 13 JAK Rifles charged the enemy position and captured Point 5140 at 3:30 a.m. on June 20, 1999. Captain Batra led his men to even more glorious victories with the recapture of Point 4750 and Point 4875. He was tragically killed when he tried to rescue an injured officer during an enemy counterattack. For his sustained display of the most conspicuous personal bravery, Captain Vikram Batra was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest medal for gallantry, posthumously.
Rifleman Sanjay Kumar – PVC
Rifleman Sanjay Kumar (Bilaspur) 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, was the leading Scout of a team tasked to capturing Area Flat Top of Point 4875 in the Mushkoh Valley on July 4, 1999, being held by Pakistani-backed militants. Without concern for personal safety, Kumar crawled alone up the ledge and charged towards the enemy bunker, through a hail of automatic fire. Bleeding profusely from the bullet wounds, he continued the charge towards the bunker. He then picked up the enemy machine gun and crept towards the second enemy bunker. Three enemy soldiers, taken completely by surprise were killed by him on the spot. For his sustained display of bravery, Rifleman Sanjay Kumar was awarded the Param Vir Chakra.
Himachal has always remained as a Veer-Bhoomi and we have no words for the immense contributions and sacrifices these Bravehearts and all the army-men standing at our borders do for us. Team WeAreHimachali salutes the Indian Armed Forces.
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