Mohan Lal, an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) who “chased and fired” at the IED-laden vehicle that killed him and 40 soldiers onboard a force bus in the horrific February 2019 Pulwama attack, was conferred the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry (PPMG) on the eve of Republic Day on Monday.
Lal, 50, was the picket commander of the CRPF road opening party deployed on February 14, 2019 at milestone number 272 near the BSNL tower in Lethpora, Pulwama on the Jammu-Srinagar highway when the cowardly terror attack was carried out by the Jaish-e-Mohammad – a Pakistan based terror outfit.
The IED-laden vehicle was driven by a suicide bomber with approximately 200 kgs of explosives inside.
According to CRPF, Lal, after passing of few vehicles of the cavalcade, noticed this car “running alongside the convoy and trying to enter between the convoy vehicles.”
The brave official “signalled and chased the car to stop but could not match its speed”.
“Ultimately, finding no other option, he fired towards the suspicious car to stop but the car rammed into a nearby running CRPF bus and a huge blast took place,” the force said.
Only two police personnel have been decorated with the top category President’s Police Medal for Gallantry (PPMG) this time, CRPF’s Lal and late Jharkhand Police ASI Banua Oraon.
Apart from Lal, a total of 207 police bravery medals were declared by the Government of India, 89 President’s police medals for distinguished service and 650 police medals for meritorious service, as per the Union Home Ministry,