Two Indian peacekeepers were among 117 military, police and civilian personnel honoured by the United Nations with a prestigious UN medal awarded posthumously for courage and sacrifice in the line of duty.
Rifleman Brijesh Thapa, who served with the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Private Ravi Kumar who was deployed with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon posthumously received the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal on the International Day of UN Peacekeepers observed yesterday.
The two laid down their lives while serving in UN peacekeeping operations last year.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin received the medal on behalf of the Indian peacekeepers at the solemn ceremony.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres laid a wreath to honour all fallen peacekeepers and presided over the ceremony where the Dag Hammarskjold Medal was awarded to 117 military, police and civilian personnel from 43 nations who lost their lives while serving in peacekeeping operations during 2016.
India currently deploys more than 7,600 military and police personnel to UN peace operations in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia, West Asia, South Sudan, Sudan and the Western Sahara.
The medal is named after the second UN Secretary General, who had died in a mysterious 1961 plane crash.