STATE TIMES NEWS UDHAMPUR: Kargil war hero and Northern Command Chief Lieutenant General Y K Joshi on Thursday presented 83 gallantry and distinguished services awards and nine ‘Veer Naris’ awards at an investiture ceremony here. Kanika Rane, the widow of Major Kaustubh Rane, who was martyred in an encounter with terrorists on the Line of Control (LoC) in August 2018, received the Sena Medal awarded to her husband. She has joined the Army after her husband’s death. During the ceremony at the Udhampur-based Northern Command headquarters, the Army Commander presented five Bar to Sena Medals (gallantry) and 73 Sena Medals (gallantry) to the brave soldiers, Defence PRO, Northern Command, Lt Col Abhinav Navneet said. Eight of the awards were conferred posthumously and the martyrs’ kin received the honour, he said. Lt Gen Joshi also presented a Yudh Seva Medal, two Sena Medals (distinguished) and nine Vishisht Seva Medal to soldiers for their selfless service to the nation. The Army Commander also presented the unit appreciation to 18 units for their overall outstanding performance in the command theatre in the year 2019, the PRO said. Speaking on the occasion, the Army Commander commended all ranks of the Northern Command for their dedication and devotion to duty in the highest traditions of the Indian Army. During the event, AWWA (Army Women Welfare Association) Regional President, Northern Command, Ina Joshi also interacted with the families of the posthumous awardees, reassuring them unstinted organisational support. The widow of Major Kaustubh Rane, martyred in an encounter with terrorists on the Line of Control (LoC) in August 2018, has followed in her husband’s footsteps. Kanika Rane (29), whose photos receiving and embracing the Tricolor that draped her husband’s body on his final journey touched hearts across the country, cleared the Service Selection Board (SSB) exam, and joined the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai. Kanika’s decision was driven by her husband’s desire to serve the country and her own childhood dream of joining the Army. Kanika cleared the exam (under the category ‘widows of defence personnel who died in harness’) in the first attempt.
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