New Delhi. 26 January 2018. Corporal Devendra Mehta was attached for active counter insurgency operations with 13 Rashtriya Rifles Battalion under the aegis of ‘Op Rakshak’ in Jammu & Kashmir. On 18 Nov 17, based on specific tech intelligence, an offensive was launched jointly by the Garud detachment and 13 RR in Chanderger village of Bandipora district in J&K.
The Garud detachment covertly approached the target house where the suspected terrorists were hiding and laid a close quarter ambush. Corporal Mehta was assigned the role of buddy of LMG man. He exhibited exceptional situational awareness and effective combat skills while deployed in the cordon. He helped establish a speculative and deadly field of fire with his buddy, thereby sealing the likely escape routes of the terrorists. While the detachment laid in wait, six terrorists hiding in the house, rushed out, shooting and lobbing grenades at the Garuds. Corporal Mehta demonstrated indomitable courage by retaliating with effective, accurate lethal fire and gunned down one category ‘A’ terrorist named Abu Qital (LeT front man in North Kashmir). To counter other advancing terrorists, he readjusted his arc of fire and provided cover to the LMG man, being fully aware of the risk of being exposed to automatic gunfire. Cpl Mehta disregarding personal safety, displayed indomitable courage while assisting in the evacuation of his buddy Corporal Nirala who was critically injured in the gun fight and took over the LMG to retaliate in order to neutralise the six terrorists.
For this act of gallantry, Corporal Devendra Mehta has been awarded Shaurya Chakra.