New Delhi: Four ITBP commandos, who repulsed an audacious terrorist attack on the Indian Consulate in Afghanistan's Herat province last year, have been accorded the President's Police Medal for Gallantry (PPMG) on the eve of the Republic Day here.
Head Constable V P Malik, along with his teammates Praveen Kumar, Rakesh Kumar and Jadeja Rajender Singh (all constables), were in the lead team that took on the fidayeen attackers in the wee hours of May 23, 2014 when the Indian Consulate in Afghanistan came under heavy gunfire and Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) shell attacks.
The commandos of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), part of a 23-member team that was guarding the facility, displayed conspicuous bravery and raw grit by killing one fidayeen attacker near the boundary of the Consulate General of India (CGI) and eliminating three others in the vicinity, thereby, averting a grave danger to the officials present inside.
"The combat spirit, swift action and combative skills shown by the four have demonstrated sharpness, competence and professionalism of the force in protecting vital Indian assets on foreign soil," the citation for the brave personnel stated.
Praveen and Rakesh took special aim at the first fidayeen attacker's limbs, with explosives wrapped on his body, to immobilise and stop him at the periphery of the boundary wall.
The other two troopers were instrumental in escorting the Consulate staff to safety and ensuring their protection till the attack was neutralised after a few hours with the help of Afghan forces.
An AK-47 assault rifle, an Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL), six caches of live magazines (one magazine can hold about 30 bullets), four hand grenades, 17 live RPG rounds and a packet containing dry fruits was recovered from the killed terrorist amid clear indications that they had plans to take Consulate officials hostage.
ITBP is the mandated border guarding force for securing the Indo-China border and it also renders a variety of duties in internal security domain including conducting anti-Naxal operations in the Left Wing Extremism-affected state of Chhattisgarh.