President has awarded Ashok Chakra to Havildar Rajesh Kumar of 11th Battalion, The Rajputana Rifles (Posthumous) on the eve of Republic Day.
On 01 August 2009, a Section of Ghatak team searching the dense forest in Kupwara district of Jammu & Kashmir was subject to intense and indiscriminate firing by terrorists. Havildar Rajesh Kumar, who was leading the Section, returned the fire and scrambled into the undergrowth to outflank the terrorist. With dogged determination he closed-in around the flank and killed the terrorist. While continuing the search, the team was again engaged by two terrorists positioned upslope.
Realizing the danger to the lives of his teammates, Havildar Rajesh Kumar moved to outflank one of the terrorists through a veritable hail of bullets. While closing-in, he sustained gun-shot wounds in the abdomen. Disregarding gun-shot wounds, he shot and killed the second terrorist. Bleeding profusely, he moved to outflank the third terrorist from his blind side and engaged him in fierce hand to hand combat killing the terrorist with the burst of fire, before succumbing to his injuries.
Havildar Rajesh Kumar showed unparalleled feat of most conspicuous gallantry, fortitude and the rare spirit of self sacrifice in fighting the terrorists.
The President Smt Pratibha Devi Singh Patil will confer Ashok Chakra posthumously to Havildar Rajesh Kumar before the start of Republic Day Parade at Rajpath, tomorrow. She will also confer Ashok Chakra to Major Mohit Sharma (posthumous) and Major D Sreeram Kumar. These two were awarded Ashok Chakra on the eve of Independence Day 2009.