New Delhi:Five fighter jet pilots of the Indian Air Force, who flew Mirage 2000 planes during the Balakot air strikes and dropped bombs in February this year, have been awarded Vayu Sena Medals. The IAF officers are being conferred with the gallantry awards for bombing the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26. The medals will be given on Thursday, on the occasion of 73rd Independence Day.
Reports said Vayu Sena Medals will be awarded to Indian Air Force’s Wing Commander Amit Ranjan and Squadron Leaders Rahul Basoya, Pankaj Bhujade, BKN Reddy and Shashank Singh.
It may be recalled that the Indian Air Force had carried out pre-emptive, non-military air strikes on JeM terror camp in Balakot in the wee hours of February 26.
The air strikes followed the February 14 terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama on a convoy of the Central Reserve Police Force. Forty troopers of the CRPF were killed in the suicide terror attack claimed by the JeM terror group.
Thirteen days later, the IAF took a pre-emptive action claiming the terror group was planning to carry out more strikes in India. More than 250 terrorists and their handlers are believed to have died in the air strikes, though Pakistan never acknowledged the terror facility existed in the first place.