Missing: Photo Of Odisha’s Ashok Chakra Recipient From Gallantary Awards Site
Pramod Kumar Satpathy received the honour posthumously for sacrificing his life in one of the biggest Maoist attacks in the country
The picture of Odisha’s only Ashok Chakra recipient, Assistant Commandant Pramod Kumar Satpathy, of the Special Operations Group (SOG) is missing from https://gallantryawards.gov.in/awardees/ashok , the government’s official site of all gallantry awardees.
A Twitter user, JD Pati, drew attention to the missing picture in a reply to a tweet by Odia IPS officer Jai Narayan Pankaj, who had posted a picture of the martyr along with two others from the state.
On this day, in 2008, Pramod Kumar Satpathy, a valiant son of Odisha, lost his life while trying to prevent Maoists from looting arms and ammunition stored in two police armouries in Nayagarh and Dasapalla towns in one of the biggest attacks anywhere in India in years.
He fell to the bullets of the Maoists but not before forcing them to abandon 75 per cent of the arms and ammunition they lad looted. Satpathy, then 43, was awarded Ashok Chakra posthumously, the only Odia to have received the honour till date.
Nearly 500 heavily-armed Red rebels came in vehicles, besieged Nayagarh and Dasapalla towns, killed 13 policemen and one civilian, looted all the arms and ammunition stored in two police armouries and retreated into the forests after driving in a hijacked bus for nearly 40 km.
All night and well into the next morning, the team followed their trail. Finally, he found the abandoned hijacked bus that the Maoists had used to flee, as well as half the weapons near Gasma Hill in central Odisha. Satpathy could have waited for reinforcements at this point of time but he chose to take a risk. He knew that any delay would mean more Maoists and losing government weaponry. Satpathy took down a few militants before he himself fell to their bullets. The Maoists fled, abandoning 75 percent of the seized weapons.
After Satpathy died, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said his family could retain their government apartment for eight years. His wife was offered a government job as compensation.