Service No : 30394 F(P)

Birth Place : Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Service: Air Force

Last Rank: Flight Lieutenant

Unit: 157 HU AF

Award: Shaurya Chakra

Date of Martyrdom : Jun 25, 2013

Flt Lt Krishnamurthy Praveen  SC

Flt Lieutenant Krishnamurthy Praveen (27) was born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. He was the only son of Mrs. Manjula who was working as Office Superintendent in Southern Railway. He was disciplined and meritorious while studying in the TVS Matriculation Higher Secondary School. He finished his BE from Thiagarajar College of Engineering and then worked for two months at an IT company. But he always wanted to serve in the armed forces and his dream came true when he cleared the combined defense examination and was selected for the air force.
 
 
Uttarakhand Flood Relief Ops: June 2013
 
 
In June 2013 a large number of pilgrims had been stranded in the narrow valleys of Kedarnath, for over five days without food and water. Flt Lt Praveen with a crew of MI 17 V5 rose to the occasion and promptly commenced rescue operations from 21 Jun 2013 onwards. They were charged with an onerous responsibility of saving as many lives as possible under extremely challenging conditions. The crew flew over 22 critical rescue missions, resulting in saving more than 190 pilgrims who were stranded in the worst affected areas of the Kedarnath valley.
 
 
Flt Lieutenant Krishnamurthy Praveen and his crew on 25 Jun 2013 were tasked to move essential supplies and National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) teams to Kedarnath, located at an elevation of over 11000 feet and rescue stranded pilgrims from Kedarnath during the return sorties. They were fully aware of the criticality of the mission on that particular day involving some of the more grievously wounded/ traumatized pilgrims. Inclement weather, frequently drifting clouds and poor light conditions prevalent in the unforgiving terrain of the narrow valley led to frequent delays in the operations and this made his task extremely demanding. Realizing the gravity of their task and the criticality of evacuation for some of the stranded pilgrims, he volunteered for the critical mission and got airborne in the first available window of opportunity to position his helicopter at Gupkashi. On that day, the helicopter carried out three sorties which were undertaken under deteriorating weather conditions. During these three sorties, the crew saved 80 lives. During the return leg from Kedarnath to Guptakashi, the aircraft impacted on the steep slopes of the valley and crashed resulting in their supreme sacrifice in the line of duty. The weather was so bad at that time that it took a long time for rescue teams to reach the crash site.
 

For his act, of conspicuous courage, professional competence and successful execution of a risky mission to save precious lives in hostile weather conditions in an extremely inhospitable environment, he was awarded “Shaurya Chakra”  (Posthumously).

 

Flt Lieutenant Krishnamurthy Praveen is survived by his mother Manjula, Grandparents N Chinnasamy and Seetha, and Aunt Ms. Ramavarthini.

The citation for the Shourya Chakra awarded to him reads:
 
A large numbers of pilgrims had been stranded in the narrow valleys of Kedarnath, for over five days without food and water. The Mi-17 V5 helicopter with crew rose to the occasion and promptly commenced rescue operations from 21 Jun 2013 onwards. They were charged with an onerous responsibility of saving as many lives as possible under extremely challenging conditions. The crew flew over 22 critical rescue missions, resulting in saving more than 190 pilgrims who were stranded in the worst affected areas of the Kedarnath valley.
 
Flt Lieutenant Krishnamoorthy Praveen and his crew were on 25 Jun 2013, the captain and Crew of the Mi-17 helicopter were tasked to move essential supplies and National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) teams to Kedarnath, located at  an elevation of over 11000 feet and rescue stranded pilgrims from Kedarnath during the return sorties. Fully aware of the criticality of the mission on that particular day involving some of the more grievously wounded / traumatized  pilgrims.  Inclement weather, frequently drifting clouds and poor light conditions prevalent  in the  unforgiving  terrain of the narrow valley led to frequent delays in the operations and this made his task extremely demanding. Realizing the gravity of  their task and the criticality of evacuation for some of the stranded pilgrims, Flt Lieutenant Krishnamoorthy Praveen and his crew volunteered for the critical mission and got airborne in the first available window of opportunity to position his helicopter at Guptakashi. On that day, the helicopter carried out three sorties which were undertaken under deteriorating weather conditions. During these three sorties, the crew saved 80 lives. During the return leg  from Kedarnath to Guptkashi the helicopter impacted on the steep slopes off valley resulting in their supreme sacrifice in the line of duty.The weather was so bad at that time that it took a long time for rescue teams to reach the crash site.  For this acts of conspicuous courage, professional competence and successful execution of a risk mission to save precious lives in hostile weather conditions in an extremely inhospitable environment Flt Lt.Krishnamurthy Praveen has been Posthumously awarded  “Shaurya Chakra”.

An article, paying tribute to Flt Lt Krishnamoorthy Praveen in The Hindu News paper:-

Relatives paying tributes to Flt Lt Praveen had said , “Flt Lieutenant Krishnamoorthy Praveen  knew it was a daunting task but, all he wanted was to rescue the people who were facing an even worse challenge in their lives. What kept the young Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot going against all odds at Uttarakhand was his sense of duty and the gratifying smile of the rescued pilgrims.

“There are no roads, no proper food and punishing weather here. But, we are happy when people thank us after we rescue them. We want to rescue all the people stranded here,” he had told his mother on Tuesday morning. But, barely four hours later, the helicopter he was flying crashed, snuffing out Praveen’s life and 19 others.

Flying was a passion for Praveen, a topper of his batch in BE Mechatronics department in Thiagarajar College of Engineering. Soon after he completed his engineering, Praveen worked for two months at an IT company, but soon wrote the combined defence examination. “He turned out to be meritorious in the exam and was offered to join any of the defence forces. He chose air force,” said his uncle V Krishnan, an ex-army man.
 

Death of a person is always an unbearable loss to his or her family members, but the demise of Praveen has dealt a devastating blow for his mother Manjula, 52, who has toiled as a single mother for 27 years to raise her son after she legally separated from her husband. “She has long stopped crying, but is refusing to speak to anyone,” said Krishnan. An office superintendent in the Southern Railway, Manjula had all her hope of future pinned on Praveen. Manjula was keen on getting her son married soon and was seeking alliances for him. “No one could console her. Everything in her life revolved around Praveen,” says another relative. Manjula’s aged parents N Chinnasamy, 85 and Seetha, 80, are also devastated. “We don’t know whom to console. They have not taken food ever since they got the news of Praveen’s death on Tuesday night,” .

Vipin said breaking into tears, telling about his cousin “He had participated in several rescue missions in the last five years of his service. But he would not share the difficulties at all. Even this time, he never dwelt much on the difficulties the armed forces were facing. He went to Uttarakhand four days back, but whenever he would call us he would narrate only the plight of the people there,”.

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Source
  • http://www.rediff.com/news/slide-show/slide-show-1-madurai-gives-a-heros-farewell-to-braveheart-iaf-pilot/20130630.htm
  • http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/pilots-mother-waited-for-his-call-but-it-never-came/article4853882.ece
  • http://www.ssbcrack.com/2015/10/story-of-brave-flight-lieutenant-k-praveen-lost-his-life-while-saving-people-in-uttarakhand.html
  • http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Database/30394
  • http://www.pib.nic.in/newsite/mbErel.aspx?relid=102743
  • http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/Barrackpore-heroes-receive-gallantry-awards/articleshow/29385888.cms
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