Three personnel from the police force in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli were conferred with the prestigious Shaurya Chakra award for their courageous action in an encounter with Maoists in Mardintola forest in the district last year, an official said.
Shaurya Chakra is the country's third highest peacetime bravery award.
Besides them, Union Ministry of Home Affairs awarded 42 personnel from the Maharashtra police force with Police Medal for Gallantry, three with President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service and 39 others with Police Medal for Meritorious Service.
Among the 42 other personnel from the state police awarded with the gallantry medal, as many as 41 belong to the police force in Gadchiroli, a Maoist-affected district, the official said.
The Centre on Sunday announced various service medals for a total of 1,082 personnel of all the state police forces as well as the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) in the country. The awards were announced on the eve of the 76th Independence Day.
Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Somay Munde and two Naik Police Constables (NPCs) Ravindra Naitam and Tikaram Katenge, were conferred with the Shaurya Chakra in recognition of of extraordinary courage displayed by the police during the encounter with Maoists in Mardintola forest in Gadchiroli on November 13, 2021, official said.
A total of 27 Maoists were killed in the encounter.
"Historic feat by Gadchiroli heroes. They are being conferred with the Shaurya Chakra for the Mardintola encounter, which led to the killing of Milind Teltumbde, the Central Committee (CC) member of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) and 26 other dreaded Maoists," said Ankit Goyal, Superintendent of Police, Gadchiroli.
"It is a proud moment for the entire team," he said.
Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Gadchiroli Manisha Kalwaniya, another ASP Sameer Shaikh, Deputy SP Bhausaheb Dhole, Assistant Police Inspector (API) Sandeep Mandlik, Police Sub-Inspector (PSI) Motiram Madavi, figure in the list of officers awarded the gallantry medal, he said.
PSI Dhanaji Honmane, head constable Jagdeo Madavi and Kishore Atram, who attained martyrdom in an operation against Maoists, have been awarded with the gallantry medals post-humously, he said.
Sunil Kolhe, Joint Commissioner of State Intelligence Department (SID), Pradeep Kannalu, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Wireless), and Manohar Dhanawade, Senior Police Inspector of Oshiwara police station in Mumbai, have been awarded with President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service.
Subhash Nikam, Additional SP of Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Aurangabad; Appasaheb Shewale, Deputy SP, Police Training School - Khandala; PI Bhanudas Khawatkar, Navi Mumbai; Police Inspector Nitin Potdar, Economic Offences Wing (EOW) Mumbai; PSI Sunil Kuweskar, Central Control Room, Mumbai; API Jitendra Mohite, Crime branch, Mumbai; ASI Suresh Kadam, Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), Mumbai are among the 39 officials, who have been awarded Police Medal for Meritorious Service.