New Delhi: A CRPF commando is the lone
policeman to be decorated with the `Shaurya Chakra`
posthumously this Independence Day for single-handedly pinning
down a squad of Maoists which resulted in the killing of top
naxal leader Sidhu Soren in West Bengal last year.
Ashish Kumar Tiwari, a commando of the elite 202 Commando
Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), suffered multiple
bullet injuries during the assault but did not let the
holed-up Maoists flee and kept firing from his INSAS rifle
till he breathed his last.
The operation on July 26 last year in the forests of
Kamya village of West Midnapore district was hailed as one of
the major successes for security forces conducting anti-naxal
operations in the area.
Tiwari was part of the team that eliminated top Maoist
leader Sidhu Soren, also the secretary of the People`s
Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA), and five
other top rung operatives of Naxal cadres.
"The encounter was a watershed in the history of
anti-naxal operations in Midnapore as the naxal menace started
dwindling thereafter and they (naxals) were on the run with
security forces having an upper hand (after that)," chief of
CRPF operations and Additional Director General P M Nair told
The operation was undertaken on specific information, a
hallmark of the CoBRA which is mandated to undertake special
"On seeing the troops, naxalites opened indiscriminate
fire and exploded multiple IEDs. Troops retaliated and
encounter lasted for two hours. In this encounter constable
Ashish Kumar Tiwari showed exceptional gallant action and had
bullet injuries. Later he succumbed to injuries," Tiwari`s
"On subsequent search, bodies of six naxalites including
top Maoist leader Sidhu Soren, who was Secretary of PCPA were
recovered. Moreover, a huge cache of arms and ammunition was
also recovered," the citation said.
The CRPF has deployed close to 60000 troops for anti-naxal
operations in the country and had raised and deployed the
CoBRA units since last year after it became the lead force for
such operations in the country.
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has been awarded a
total of 26 Police Medals for gallantry (three posthumously),
making it the top force to have earned the maximum number of
laurels for courage this time.