In a significant move following the recent restructuring of medals, a commendable total of 1,132 individuals from various security forces, including police, fire service, home guard, civil defence, and correctional service, have been honored with gallantry and service medals on the auspicious occasion of the 75th Republic Day in 2024.
A government statement released on Thursday revealed that more than 1,000 police personnel were recognized with various categories of gallantry and service medals, with an impressive 277 gallantry medals presented on the eve of the Republic Day celebrations.
The Union home ministry’s statement highlighted that the restructuring of medals has resulted in the consolidation of 16 gallantry and service medals into four distinguished categories: President’s Medal for Gallantry (PMG), Medal for Gallantry (GM), President’s Medals for Distinguished Service (PSM), and Medal for Meritorious Service (MSM).
Noteworthy among the gallantry awards is the fact that 119 were conferred upon personnel deployed in Left Wing Extremism-affected areas, while 133 were presented to individuals from the Jammu & Kashmir region.
Two Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, Head Constables Sanwala Ram Vishnoi and Shishu Pal Singh, were posthumously honored with the prestigious PMG for their exceptional contributions to peacekeeping during the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO). They served as members of the 15th Congo Contingent of BSF at the Moroccan Rapid Deployment Battalion (MORRDB) camp in Butembo, displaying outstanding bravery in the face of adversity.
The PMG and GM medals were awarded for “rare conspicuous acts of gallantry” and “conspicuous acts of gallantry,” respectively, recognizing the exemplary efforts in saving lives, protecting property, preventing crime, or arresting criminals, with the inherent risks duly acknowledged.
The PSM, on the other hand, acknowledges a special distinguished record in service, while the MSM is bestowed for valuable service characterized by resourcefulness and unwavering devotion to duty.
The distribution of gallantry medals showcased a notable allocation to Jammu and Kashmir police personnel with 72 medals, followed by 65 to Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troops, 18 to individuals from Maharashtra, 26 from Chhattisgarh, 23 from Jharkhand, 15 from Odisha, eight from Delhi Police, and 21 from the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
In honoring these brave men and women, the Republic Day awards of 2024 stand as a testament to the unwavering dedication and sacrifice displayed by the security forces in the service of the nation.