President Ram Nath Kovind today presented Defence Gallantry Awards and Distinguished Service Decorations at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
In the first ceremony for 2020 awards, a Kirti Chakra to Sapper Prakash Jadhav of Corps of Engineers, First Battalion, Rashtriya Rifles and two Shaurya Chakras to Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal of Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, 55th Battalion, Rashtriya Rifles; and to Naib Subedar Sombir, Jat Regiment, 34th Battalion, Rashtriya Rifles, were given posthumously.
There were 14 recipients of Param Vishisht Seva Medal. Wing Commander (now Group Captain) Varthaman Abhinandan of Indian Air Force who intercepted Pakistan Air Force aircraft trying to cross the line of control on 27 February, 2019, received Vir Chakra.
Abhinandan forced the enemy aircraft to retreat, and shot down a retreating enemy F-16 aircraft. In the melee, his plane was hit by a missile and he was forced to eject in enemy territory. He was repatriated on 1st March, 2019.
A Kirti Chakra, two Uttam Yuddh Seva Medals and 26 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals were also presented. Shaurya Chakras were presented to eight awardees.