India to name 21 islands of Andaman Nicobar after Param Vir Chakra awardees

Twenty one unnamed islands in India’s Andaman and Nicobar island groups in the Bay of Bengal will be named after 21 men of Indian armed forces decorated with Param Vir Chakra, the country’s highest military decoration, meaning the ‘wheel of the ultimate brave’. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the ceremony to name the islands on January 23, the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose marked as ‘Parakram Diwas’, literally meaning the Bravery Day.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also unveil the model of the National Memorial dedicated to Netaji to be built on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, formerly known as Ross Islands.

In 2018, Ross islands, Neil island and Havelock island were renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep respectively.

“Giving due respect to the real-life heroes of the country has always been accorded highest priority by the Prime Minister,” an official statement said. 

“Going ahead with this spirit, it has now been decided to name the 21 largest unnamed islands of the island group after 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees. The largest unnamed island will be named after the first Param Vir Chakra awardee, the second largest unnamed island will be named after the second Param Vir Chakra awardee, and so on. This step will be an everlasting tribute to our heroes, several of whom had made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the sovereignty and integrity of the nation,” the statement added.

The Param Vir Chakra (PVC) is India’s highest military decoration. It is awarded for displaying distinguished acts of valour during wartime. The award is granted for “most conspicuous bravery in the presence of the enemy”.

The unnamed Andaman and Nicobar islands will be named after the 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees, as following: Major Somnath Sharma; Subedar and Hony Captain (then Lance Naik)  Karam Singh, MM; 2nd Lt. Rama Raghoba Rane; Nayak Jadunath Singh; Company Havildar Major Piru Singh; Capt GS Salaria; Lieutenant Colonel (then Major) Dhan Singh Thapa; Subedar Joginder Singh; Major Shaitan Singh; CQMH. Abdul Hamid; Lt Col Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore; Lance Naik Albert Ekka; Major Hoshiar Singh; 2nd Lt. Arun Khetrapal; Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon; Major Ramaswamy Parameswaran; Naib Subedar Bana Singh; Captain Vikram Batra; Lt Manoj Kumar Pandey; Subedar Major (then RifleMan) Sanjay Kumar; and Subedar Major Retd (Hony Captain) Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav.

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