BHUBANESWAR: Debasis Sethy and Sudhir Kumar Tudu, two policemen who had laid down their lives fighting left-wing extremists, have been decorated with Shaurya Chakra, the third highest non-combatant gallantry award on the eve of 75th Independence Day. This also is for the first time two braveheart security personnel from Odisha have received Shaurya Chakra.
Both have been awarded posthumously for displaying bravery during anti-Maoist operations. Sethy and Tudu - members of Odisha Police’s Special Operations Group (SOG) - had shown exceptional bravery and valour during an exchange of fire with the Maoists in Kalahandi district on September 9, 2020. While Sethy had joined Odisha Police as a constable in October, 2013, he was inducted into SOG in March, 2016. Similarly, Tudu had joined as a constable in September, 2013 and was inducted into SOG in June, 2018.
During the fight with Maoists, Sethy and Tudu laid down their lives while protecting their colleagues from the rebel attack. “We remember them with pride and gratitude and are thankful to the Centre for recognising their bravery,” DGP Abhay said. The exchange of fire had taken place in a densely forested region under M Rampur police limits in Kalahandi.
2 Shaurya Chakras for Odisha Police
The 75th Independence Day also brought more good news for Odisha Police as 67 of its personnel have been awarded the Police Medal for Gallantry (PMG) by the Ministry of Home Affairs. This is the highest number of gallantry medals awarded to Odisha Police in a year since Independence though it includes backlogs of 2020. The PMGs were given for 9 anti-Naxal operations between May 2019 and 2020. Jammu and Kashmir police received the highest number of medals.
Similarly, 11 personnel of Odisha police have been awarded Police Medal for Meritorious Service (PMMS) and two conferred the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service (PPMDS). On Independence Day, the President’s Police Medal for Meritorious Service will be awarded to Jyoti Ranjan Barik, who is an Inspector at the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) Economic Offences division - VII in Bhubaneswar.
While President’s Fire Service Medal for Gallantry was awarded to four firemen of Odisha Fire Service, the Fire Service Medal for Meritorious Service was conferred on two personnel of State fire department.
A brave fight
On September 9, 2020, Debasis Sethy advanced towards the Maoist camp in Kalahandi district amid heavy firing from ultras. He sustained 3 bullet injuries but continued to retaliate.
Sudhir went inside the camp and was outnumbered. But he did not step back and kept fighting the ultras forcing them to flee. 5 Maoists were neutralised in the operation.