Kamlesh Kumari Yadav’s extraordinary tale of bravery is one that needs to be told to the citizens of India. She was an Indian constable who had served with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). For her duty and commitment come ahead of anything else. She gave absolutely everything to protect the nation and died fighting the terrorists in Parliament attack in the year 2001. Let’s salute the sacrifice made by our Indian constable Kamlesh Kumari Yadav.
The brave woman was a recipient of the Ashoka Chakra, which is the highest possible award conferred during peacetime by the Republic of India. Kamlesh Kumari drew her last breath on 13 December 2001 after successfully preventing dangerous terrorist gunmen and a terrorist suicide bomber from reaching Parliament during the 2001 Indian Parliament attack.
13 December 2001
Constable Kamlesh Kumari Yadav joined the Central Armed Police Forces in the year 1994 and was first posted with the elite 104 Rapid Action Force (RAF) in Allahabad. After that, she was posted at the 88 Mahila (Women’s) Battalion on 12 July 2001. Kamlesh Kumari also became part of Bravo Company, the group assigned a task to secure Parliament when in session.
The woman constable was on duty at Parliament House on December 13 and little did she know that five terrorists would storm the building.
As the white Ambassador car sped into the compound, Kamlesh Kumari, without even caring about her life, attempted to force it to stop. In a shocking turn of events, the terrorists shot her dead, but the gunfire alerted other security guards who moved to secure Parliament first and then shot the terrorists dead.
Kamlesh Kumari’s husband by the name of B P Yadav, received the medal including a scroll of honour from the President at the saluting base on Rajpath before the Republic Day parade started.
Constable Kamlesh Kumari Yadav was posthumously awarded India’s highest peacetime award- the Ashoka Chakra, by the President of India on Republic Day in 2002 in honour of her extraordinary bravery and courage. The then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee paid a rich tribute to her at that time.
Mohammad Afzal, who was determined to have played the role of a conspirator in the attack by investigators, was convicted and then sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of India.
Afzal’s family camped in the national capital with the hope of conveying a mercy petition to then President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. In reply, Kamlesh Kumaru’s surviving family had publicly declared that they would return the Ashok Chakra awarded to her if the President were to accept the petition.
As the President neither turned down nor accepted the petition, the families of 8 security officials who had been honoured for their bravery and courage during the attacks (including Kamlesh’s) had returned their gallantry medals on 13 December 2006, in protest against the postponement in the execution of criminal Mohammad Afzal.
It was on 25 July 2012, President Pranab Mukherjee succeeded Pratibha Patil as President and early 2013, he straightaway rejected the petition for mercy. Mohammad Afzal was hanged on 9 February 2013 at Tihar Jail at 8:00 am. On 30 March 2013, the martyrs’ families agreed to take back the gallantry medals which they had returned in the year 2006.