New Delhi: The citadel of Indian democracy was attacked on December 13, 2011. But the bravehearts of our country sprung into action and many laid their lives in the line of duty. Not a single politician was harmed. Here is a list of the real heroes of our country.
Jagdish Prasad Yadav
On 13th December 2001, both Houses of Parliament were adjourned at 11:00 am. Parliamentarians and the staff were dispensing their daily duties, unaware of the impending terror attack on the temple of India’s democracy. Parliament’s Watch-and-Ward staffer Shri Jagdish Prasad Yadav got suspicious of a fast moving ambassador which turned left near gate Number 12 of Parliament. He ran towards the car and alerted security on his walkie-talkie, but he came in the line of terrorists’ fire and sacrificed his life performing his duty.
The car in which the terrorists entered the Parliament complex came to halt after it collided with one of the cars in the Vice President’s cavalcade. Vice President’s driver, Assistant Sub-Inspector Rampal Singh, immediately sprung into action and caught one of the terrorists by his collar. Showing exemplary courage, Rampal Singh fought with the terrorists like a lion and laid down his life battling for his motherland.
Car driver in Vice President’s cavalcade, Head Constable Vijender Singh, came to the rescue of Rampal Singh and fought with the AK 47 wielding terrorists. Vijender Singh fought with determination and took on the terrorists without any regard for his personal safety. He alerted security officials of the orchestrated terror attack on the Parliament of India before achieving martyrdom.
At a time when the entire nation seems to have woken up to the need to tackle the menace of corruption, it is capable and honest bureaucrats like Sanjay Bhatia who instil new hope. A Sales Tax Commissioner in Maharashtra, he took it upon himself to abolish the special privileges being enjoyed by department officials.
Sanjay Bhatia also constituted a vigilance unit, besides devising a radically new way to handle transfers. He set up a committee which was mandated to take in even a clerk’s opinion in the transfer of senior officers. Sanjay Bhatia’s diligence and honesty would surely work as a guiding light in eliminating corruption from the society.
A born crusader, Amit Jetwa fought many significant battles to expose corruption in Gujarat. Be it the mysterious killing of Gir Lions in 2007 or the issue of illegal mining, Jetwa brought every case to the fore. He also worked tirelessly towards revealing the activities of the mining mafia in Saurashtra region.
Then on July 20, 2010, a fatal attempt on his life was made in the premises of the Gujarat High Court. And a strong voice of justice, the voice of the voiceless was lost forever.
Amit would always be remembered for his tireless work. He remains a torchbearer in the fight against corruption.
The name COBRA instils fear in the heart of Naxals. A crack team of 202 COBRA commandos with Deputy Commandant Uday Divanshu was operating in the forests of West Midnapore in West Bengal when they received information about Maoist commander Sidhu Soren’s presence in the vicinity. Acting immediately on the intelligence input, Uday Divanshu divided the team into small troops to carry out an operation.
Owing to the exemplary leadership of Deputy Commandant Divanshu and the bravery of his men, the 202 Cobra Commandos were successful in capturing Sidhu Soren, besides ensuring the surrender of Pichhakr Maoist rebels.
Even though the West Midnapore operation carried out by Deputy Commandant Uday Divanshu was a success, the 202 Cobra Commandos team lost a brave soldier, Ashish Tiwari, in the operation against Maoist commander Sidhu Soren. Ashish Tiwari, along with Assistant Commandant Panchamlal, was successful in reaching the Maoists base camp in the dense forest. Amidst the heavy firing and threat from planted landmines, Tiwari stood his ground and returned bullet for bullet. It was Ashish Tiwari who shot down the Maoist commander Sidhu Soren, but he also got injured in the fire and laid down his life in the service of the motherland.
Kamlesh Kumari, of the 88 Ladies Battalion, was posted at the Gate No. 1 of Parliament when five terrorists launched the attack. She saw a terrorist rushing towards Gate No. 11 of Parliament’s main building. Realising the seriousness of the situation, she immediately informed the duty officer and the guard commander through her wireless set. By that time, the suicide bomber had reached close to Gate No 11. Without hesitating for a single second to put herself in the line of fire, Kamlesh quickly came out of her police post and started shouting to draw the attention of other security officials towards the suicide bomber. Due to the alertness and quick action of Kamlesh Kumari, the security forces managed to gun down the suicide bomber but in the process, she herself made the supreme sacrifice in service of the nation. Kamlesh Kumari was conferred Ashok Chakra posthumously.
The terrorists wanted to break into Parliament’s main building through Gate No. 11. They presumed that they could easily enter through this route, but little did they realise that a brave Assistant Sub Inspector of Delhi Police, Nanakchand, was there to stop them. In the ensuing gun battle, Nanakchand valiantly fought the terrorists and made the supreme sacrifice, but not before foiling the sinister designs of India’s enemies.
Manoj Kumar Gupta
Always known as an honest officer, Manoj Kumar Gupta was posted as Executive Engineer in the Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh. Local BSP MLA Shekhar Tiwari pressurised him to donate money. A man of character, Manoj Gupta refused to give in to his demands. The muscleman and his goons kept torturing him till his last breath, but they failed to break the moral of an honest and dutiful officer.
Delhi Police constable Ghanshyam was part of then Vice President Krishna Kant’s security team. He was present when the white ambassador car in which the terrorists had entered the Parliament complex crashed with a car in the Vice President’s convoy. Without caring about his own safety, he lunged towards the terrorists and challenged them. He proved to be like an iron wall and battled till his last breath to prevent terrorists from succeeding in their nefarious design.
Delhi Police Head Constable Om Prakash was part of the security ensemble for then Vice President Krishna Kant and was present in Parliament on Dec 13, 2001. He was on duty despite his son being very ill during those days. Om Prakash had promised his son that he would save him at any cost, but when the call of duty beckoned, he was at the forefront in taking on the terrorists. Om Prakash took on the fidayeen and laid down his life in the service of the motherland.
Matbar Singh Negi
On being cornered by security forces, the fidayeen attackers leapt towards Gate No. 11 of the Parliament’s main building. Matbar Singh Negi of Parliament’s Watch-and-Ward staff was standing on duty there. Sensing the gravity of the threat, Negi, without caring for his own safety, dashed to the door and shut it. Despite getting injured in the firing, the braveheart sounded an alert following which all doors of Parliament were shut.
He was taken to the hospital, but could not be saved and breathed his last on December 16. Matbar Singh Negi was posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra.
CRPF Assistant Commandant PR Mishra was posted in Hazaribagh district in September 2008. On September 16, Naxals were reported to have taken position in the dense forest near Katkum Sandi Police station in Hazaribagh. On receiving a tipoff, PR Mishra immediately launched an operation with his team. They travelled 15 kilometres through treacherous terrain at night when they were suddenly attacked by Naxals near Ghama village at around 5 am. Without worrying about their personal safety, the team, under the command of PR Mishra, launched a counter-attack on the Naxals and killed their section commander Jitendra Yadav in a fierce gun-battle that lasted for several hours.
BSF head constable Amit Hajang was posted in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk area on September 14, 2004. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was addressing a rally at Lal Chowk. Amit Hajang was posted in the outer stretch of the Prime Minister’s security ring. Suddenly, some terrorists opened indiscriminate fire from a nearby hill. Showing exemplary courage, Amit along with his colleagues, responded to the firing from terrorists. Despite being hit on the leg, he kept fighting till he shot dead two terrorists.
Gen JFR Jacob
The historic surrender by the Pakistan forces in Dhaka during the 1971 war is an unforgettable moment in the annals of Indian military history. One of the chief architects of this memorable victory was Gen JFR Jacob. The then Indian Army Chief Sam Manekshaw had given a one-line command to Jacob that he wanted Pakistan forces to surrender. General A K Niazi was the commander of 26,000–strong Pakistan Army in Dhaka, whereas General Jacob had only 3000 soldiers in his command. Like a true warrior, Gen Jacob went straight to Gen Niazi, showed him the surrender document and set a deadline of 30 minutes for him to take a decision. Exactly thirty minutes later, he again went to Gen Niazi, who then signed the surrender document. Thus, Gen Jacob scripted a crucial chapter of the golden victory of the Indian Army.
M S Rathore’s name appears among those select officers of BSF whose bravery has become folklore. As BSF’s DIG he led several operations against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. Besides other awards, he has been decorated by the President’s Police Medal.