India’s highest peacetime gallantry award — Ashok Chakra — has been posthumously awarded to the brave army doctor Major Laishram Jyotin Singh for his act of exemplary courage in the face of a terrorist attack in Afghanistan.
In the morning of Feb 26, 2010, a guarded residential compound of Indian Embassy in Kabul, was attacked by terrorists. A terrorist, after detonating a Suicidal Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device resulting in the death of three security guards, entered the compound to kill any survivors.
The terrorist then proceeded to fire Kalshnikov into the individual rooms and started throwing hand grenades. In the melee, five unarmed officers took shelter in one of the rooms which was subjected to grenade attack and the fire on its roof spread consequently to the bathroom where another group of five officers were sheltered.
On hearing shouts of the five officers, an unarmed Maj Laishram Jytoin Singh crawled out from under the debris of his room, charging with bare hands at the armed terrorist and pinned him down to ensure that the terrorists could no longer lob more grenades or direct fire at the officers cornered in a burning room.
He continued to grapple with armed terrorist and did not let him go till the terrorist panicked and detonated his suicide vest, resulting in the instantaneous death of the terrorist and martyrdom of Maj Laishram Jyotin Singh.
Maj Laishram Jyotin Singh gave up his life for the sake of five of his colleagues, one of whom unfortunately was still charred to death, and another succumbed to his injuries five days later. His sacrifice, in addition, also saved the lives of two officers, and four paramedics and two Afghan civilians still alive within the compound.
For this act of exemplary courage, grit, selflessness and valour in the face of a terrorist attack, resulting in his sacrifice and saving 10 of his colleagues, Major Laishram Jyotin Singh was recommended for the award of Ashok Chakra (Posthumous) on Independence Day, August 15, 2010.
Maj Laishram Jyotin Singh was born on 14 May 1972 and was schooled in Manipur. He was a meritorious student of Manipur Public School and he chose a career in medicine. He graduated from Regional Institute of Medical science at Imphal in the year 1996. After a stint of medical residency, he acquired Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Medicine from the reputed Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala in the year 2001.
He was commissioned in the Army Medical Corps on 15 Feb 2003 as a Short Service Commissioned Officer and was granted Permanent Commission on April 26, 2007. He had served as a medical officer in a High Altitude location under Project Vartak and in a Military Hospital in counterinsurgency operations Area for a combined period of over six years in his short but illustrious military service.
The officer was selected on merit for deputation to Indian Medical Mission in Kabul, Afghanistan where he was stationed since February 13, 2010. Being a single, he is survived by his parents who live in his native place Nambol Awang Leikai, Bishnupur, Manipur.