|Sqn Ldr||Raj Shekhar Mehta 17212 ADM||Unit : 11 Wing||Award Date 20 Sep 93||Announced 26 Jan 95|
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Squadron Leader Raj Shekhar Mehta was commissioned in Administration branch of IAF on 28 May 1983. He is Deputy Chief Administration Officer at Air Force Station Tezpur.
On 09 September 1993, a herd of wild elephants entered the camp of Air Force Station Tezpur and lodged themselves in dense forest on the Southern Side of the airfield, close to the runway. Attempts to chase them out of the camp by helicopters were futile as the dense forest not only provided them cover but made it nearly impossible to locate their position. The elephants caused an extensive damage to the communication and electric cables, airfield lightening and security fence. Since the elephants were very close to the runway, the flying was adversely affected. On 20th September 1993, it was decided to drive them by organizing a beat. Squadron Leader Mehta, then Station Security officer was assigned the task. A group of 35 men was assigned to him for this job. The group armed with rifles and drums entered the dense forests from Eastern side at around 0930 hours. By 1130 hours, it had combed Ã‚Â¾ of the jungle and chased the herd to one side. Squadron Leader Mehta led his men, encouraging them constantly during the entire operation. At around 1130 hrs, he was suddenly attacked by an elephant and thrown on the ground. Despite the shock, Squadron Leader Mehta retained his cool and dragged himself away from the direction in which the same elephant was attacking him. In the struggle that ensured, his left thigh was stamped and crushed by the elephant before it moved away from him. Even though seriously injured, he crawled to a distance of nearly 20 feet, picked up his portophone and guided the beat party to chase the herd out. Only on completion of the task, he called up the party for his own rescue. Squadron Leader Raj Shekhar Mehta after the first aid was rushed to the local Base hospital and later shifted to the Eastern Command Hospital at Calcutta for major surgery.
Squadron Leader Raj Shekhar Mehta, thus, displayed courage, determination, initiative and leadership qualities of exceptionally high order. Authority: Notification No. 92-Pres/95 dated 26th January, 1995 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 11th March 1995.
|Reference:||Gazette of India , 11th March 1995 - No.92 - Pres/95 dated 26th January 1995|