A BSF inspector, who single- handedly overpowered an armed Maoist in a fair in Chhattisgarh's Naxal violence-hit Kanker district in 2014, is the lone gallantry medal winner from his force this Republic Day.
Sushil Kumar Pandey, then a sub-inspector, was part of a Border Security Force (BSF) team that had raided the local 'mela' being held in the foothills of the Raoghat region on April 23, 2014, on a tip-off that Naxals were attending it.
He was awarded the Police Medal for Gallantry.
Pandey, his bravery citation said, "sprung into action and tried to grab a hardcore" Maoist who took out his gun and aimed at the security personnel as soon as he got a wink of their presence.
The BSF trooper got into a fist fight with the Naxal, identified as Sandeep alias Siyaram Salam of Narayanpur district, and overpowered him within minutes in a daring exploit of his bravery and without caring for his life.
A loaded US-made pistol was seized from the Maoist who was apprehended and subsequently handed over to the police by the BSF.
In the meantime, Pandey's colleagues got hold of another Naxalite present in the 'mela' area and the operation was then called off.
"The extraordinary courage and gallant action shown by Sushil Kumar Pandey not only led to the apprehension of a hardcore armed Naxal but also saved the precious lives of own troops as well as civilians," his citation read.
The trooper of the 24th BSF battalion, it said, displayed "conspicuous gallant action, presence of mind and devotion to duty during the operation".
The BSF is deployed in Chhattisgarh as part of its task to conduct anti-Maoist operations and Pandey was promoted as an inspector after this action.
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