A year after he was shot 9 times, Commandant Chetan Cheetah resumes duty

The Hush Post: Battling his injuries for over a year, CRPF Commandant Chetan Kumar Cheetah is back to work. Wearing his favourite `khaki’ uniform (which he calls his second skin), he resumed active duty as Commandant in Force Headquarter in Delhi.

Terming his survival as nothing short of a miracle, Commandant Chetan recounts what actually happened. The brave soldier took nine bullets in an encounter between terrorists and security forces in the wee hours of February 14, 2017, in Hajin area of Bandipora. This left him almost dead.

This encounter took place when Indian Army’s troops were conducting search operations in Bandipora area. Terrorits hiding there started firing at the troops. Cheetah who was then Commandant of 45 battalion bravely fought the terrorist but ended up receiving multiple gun shots.

Chetan Kumar Cheetah was also conferred  with the Kirti Chakra the second highest peacetime gallantry medal last year. Speaking to the media he adds: “I want youngsters to give 100 percent to the country, that is what I have done. The duty which I had, I could have escaped, but instead, I faced the bullets.”

Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju seeing the CRPF Commandant, Chetan Kumar
Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju seeing the CRPF Commandant, Chetan Kumar

Terming the need for a strong political will to find a solution to the Kashmir problem, he adds: “It will take some time for the situation to settle down in Jammu and Kashmir. A soldier can only do that much. There has to be a strong political will.” All through his year-long recovery time he has reiterated that “military solution to Kashmir can be the only political solution to Kashmir’s problem”.

Ever since he has joined back, Cheetah has been calling on all his seniors. He is still undergoing physiotherapy to resume sensations in his hand while he has lost an eye. The bullet wounds are still visible on his hand, where the flesh seems to have been cut off. It would be almost another year since the injured officer would be completely back to normal.

The brave officer recently went to CRPF Academy in Mount Abu to give a motivational speech to personnel. With a thriving fighting spirit he says: “I am fighting fit. If my force and my country want me to go to field area and do operations. There will be no hesitation.”

However, even though he has decided to resume work, Cheetah’s wife Uma is still worried about his recovery. “My family is worried. My wife is worried. But, I know I would recover faster if I resume work.”

His return post his recovery truly shows the willpower of the Indian soldiers along with their unconditional commitment to the nation.

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