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SOURCE: PTI

CRPF officer Bibhor Kumar Singh, who lost his legs during an Anti-Maoist operation in the forests of Bihar in 2022, has been awarded the Shaurya Chakra on the eve of the 75th Republic Day. He is the lone recipient of a military medal, the third-highest peacetime medal, among the central paramilitary forces. Bibhor Kumar Singh was named for the decoration by the defence ministry in a statement issued on Thursday, a day before the commando-trained officer turns 33.

The assistant commandant-rank officer of the 205th CoBRA battalion, who had joined the CRPF in May 2017, suffered grievous injuries in an improvised explosive device blast on February 25, 2022, while his patrol was out in the Chakrabandha forest area in the Gaya and Aurangabad districts of Bihar.

The officer was evacuated to Gaya district headquarters after about seven hours and he was later shifted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi.

An association of ex-paramilitary forces personnel and other retired central paramilitary forces officers had lamented the delay in awarding a bravery medal to the gallant officer who displayed “extreme tenacity and strength” during the operation where he lost his legs.

Bibhor Kumar Singh, according to his citation provided by the CRPF, “Kept on leading and directing his troops with his indomitable spirit, regardless of his personal safety. Their audacious action led to the retreat of Naxals from the ambush site.” Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the country’s largest paramilitary force, was also awarded 65 police gallantry medals on the eve of the Republic Day.

“Of the 66 medals, 60 were awarded for gallantry in 14 operations conducted in Jammu and Kashmir, while six were conferred upon the warriors for displaying gallant action in three operations in Left Wing Extremism affected areas,” a spokesperson said.

“Four gallant personnel were posthumously awarded with the medal for gallantry,” he said.

The force has also been awarded five President’s medals for distinguished service and 57 medals for meritorious service.

Prominent among the distinguished service medal recipients include CRPF Inspectors General Anshuman Yadav and Mahesh Chandra Laddha.

Mr Yadav is a 1998-batch IPS officer of the Madhya Pradesh cadre and is posted as the IG personnel at the CRPF headquarters in Delhi. He has earlier served with the force in the north east apart from various assignments in his cadre state.

The about 3.25 lakh personnel strength CRPF is designated as the lead internal security force of the country with its three primary combat theatres being anti-Maoist operations, counter-terrorism tasks in Jammu and Kashmir and counter-insurgency duties in northeastern states.