Four Indian peacekeepers and a civilian have been chosen posthumously for United Nation’s Dag Hammarskjold Medal for their courage and sacrifice.
They are among the 124 police, military and civilian personnel who have been posthumously awarded a prestigious UN medal. They will be honoured on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers (observed annually on 29 May).
Five Indians are
- Head Constable Shubhkaran Yadav: He died in April 2015 while serving in the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
- Rifleman Manish Malik: He died in August 2015 while serving in the UN-MONUSCO.
- Havildar Amal Deka: He died in June 2015 while serving in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).
- Naik Rakesh Kumar: He died in January 2015 while serving in the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
- Gagan Punjabi: He died in January 2015 while serving in the MONUSCO in a civilian capacity under the UN Volunteers programme.
About Dag Hammarskjold Medal
- Established in December 2000. Named after second UN Secretary General and Swedish diplomat Dag Hammarskjold (In office: from 1953 to 1961).
- Awarded posthumously to members of peacekeeping operations who lost their lives during service with a peacekeeping operation under the control and authority of the UN.
- Hammarskjold had died in a mysterious plane crash in 1961. He was posthumously awarded Nobel Peace Prize the year he died (only exceptional case).
India contribution to UN Peacekeeping
India is the largest contributors to UN peacekeeping operations. Currently, its military and police personnel are deployed in UN missions in Cyprus, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, Haiti and South Sudan.
So far, India has contributed around 1,80,000 troops who have served in over 44 of the 69 peacekeeping operations. It also includes 103 Indian female police unit in the UN mission in Liberia.