CRPF officer gets his 8th gallantry medal for anti-Naxal operation in Jharkhand

CRPF officer Prakash Ranjan Mishra. Photo: CRPF

New Delhi: CRPF officer Prakash Ranjan Mishra has been decorated with a gallantry medal for the 8th time, making him the highest recipient of bravery medals among the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), a government order said on Wednesday.

Mishra, 49, holds the rank of second-in-command (equivalent to superintendent of police), and he, along with four of his colleagues, has been awarded with the police medal for bravery (PMG) for displaying "exemplary courage" in an anti-Naxal operation in Jharkhand's Khunti district on December 20, 2020. The PMG was announced by the Union Home Ministry on the occasion of the 74th Republic Day, being celebrated on January 26 (Thursday).

A regional commander of the Maoists, who had 152 police cases against him, was killed in this operation, according to officials.

The four others who were awarded the PMG along with Mishra include Assistant Commandant Prahald Sahay Choudhary, Constables Raju Kumar, Yogendra Kumar and Sushil Kumar Chachi, the order said.

This is Choudhary's fourth gallantry medal.

Mishra, a commando trained officer, joined the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) as a Sub-Inspector in 1997 and later qualified as an officer (Assistant Commandant) in 2002. He also served as an Additional SP on deputation with the Jharkhand Police.

He is currently posted with the 94th CRPF battalion in Khunti.

The officer has served virtually all his tenure in hard areas including anti-Naxal operations stints in Jharkhand, Sukma district in Chhattisgarh's extreme Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected Bastar division and counter-insurgency duties in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mishra was awarded the first PMG in 2009, twice in 2011, again in 2013 and 2015, the top police bravery medal -- President's Police Medal for Gallantry -- in 2012, the military 'Shaurya Chakra' in 2013 apart from 13 commendation discs for operations by the CRPF Director General (DG) and seven by the Jharkhand DGP.

Mishra has the highest individual gallantry medals in the CRPF and among the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) like the BSF, ITBP, SSB and CISF, a senior CAPF officer told PTI.

The officer made headlines in 2012 after being shot in a Naxal operation in Jharkhand and his blood-soaked photographs were published across various newspapers and portals.

After this near-fatal incident, he was in the hospital for about two months and soon got back to his favourite job -- counter-insurgency and jungle warfare operations.

Mishra is closely preceded in the force by 37-year-old CRPF Assistant Commandant Naresh Kumar who has received seven gallantry medals for undertaking daring operations in the Kashmir valley, being part of the elite quick action team (QAT) of the force.

Former Delhi Police (special cell) officer Sanjeev Kumar Yadav has got 11 gallantry medals till now.

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