New Delhi: For the first time, an Army doctor will posthumously receive the highest peacetime gallantry award -- the Ashok Chakra -- for his bravery while fighting militants during an attack on Indians in Kabul.
However, the Army is still not sure as to who will receive the award on behalf of Major Laishram Jyotin Singh at this year`s Republic Day parade as his father is admitted in a hospital with critical illness and his brother is finding it difficult to make it to the parade as he is attending to his ailing father, a senior official said.
"If none of the family members is available on Republic Day then the Commanding Officer (CO) of Major Singh`s unit would be asked to receive the award on behalf of his family," he said.
A resident of Manipur, Major Singh is the first officer from Army Medical Corps (AMC) to receive the award.
Major Singh was posted at Indian Embassy in Kabul. He joined his duty only three days prior to the attack on February 16 last year when a couple of terrorists stormed into the Indian residential complex firing indiscriminately and lobbing grenades.
One of the terrorists blew himself up at the main entrance killing three guards and making way for others to enter the complex.
The other terrorist targeted a room in which five unarmed officers had taken shelter. Hearing them shouting, Major Singh crawled out of the debris and charged bare-handed on the suicide bomber pinning him down to the ground. Unable to escape, the militant detonated his explosive-laden vest killing himself as well as Singh.
The terrorists killed 16 people in the two-hour long attack but it ended after Singh neutralised the second suicide bomber.