Pramod Kumar Satapathy was an assistant commandment in the Orissa Police. He laid down his life in the process of fighting armed naxalites on 15 February 2008 and has been awarded with the Ashoka Chakra posthumously.
Satapathy was training in charge of the Special Operation Group of Orissa State Armed Police at Chandaka. He had rushed to Nayagarh along with 20 available men on motorcycles soon after hearing the news that heavily armed Naxalites had attacked police establishments and looted a huge cache of arms at 10.30 pm on February 15.
On receiving information about the movement of the militants, Satapathy quickly made out a plan and with available forces of SOG, OSAP and CRPF followed the Naxalites into the jungle.
There were about 200-300 Naxalites in an elevated location and they were about to escape. Satapathy mounted assault on the Naxalites. The Naxalites in turn unleashed a heavy fire on the police team.
In this encounter that continued for about two hours, the police party had to retreat. Satapathy fought bravely till his last breath and laid down his life in fighting the militants. A large quantity of arms and ammunitions was recovered from the site.
On getting information of hide-out of Naxalites, Satpathy along with two SOG teams chased and continued firing about four hours for which the rebels could not be able to escape. It was the courageous fight for which a huge amount of arms and ammunition were recovered from the ultras and later he fell to bullet injuries.
Family members of the 43-year-old Satpathy, who hailed from Jajpur district of Orissa state and was son of a retired deputy commandant in Orissa police, were inconsolable. While three brothers, including him were serving for the State police. He is survived by wife and two children.
He was the first Ashok Chakra recipient from Orissa state and the first officer to receive the Ashoka Chakra (posthumous) in an anti-Naxal operation.
The following is the citations for Satapathy posthumous Ashok Chakras President Pratibha Patil awarded on the occasion of Republic Day 26 January 2009.
Assistant Commandant Pramod Kumar Satapathy (Training in charge, Special Operation Group Orissa State Armed Police - posthumous): In the night of 15 February 2008 about 500 heavily armed Naxalites carried out simultaneous attacks on police at various locations in and around Bhubaneswar looting many weapons and killing several police personnel. Thereafter, they hid in nearby jungles.
Assistant Commandant Shri Pramod Kumar Satapathy training in charge of the Special Operation Group along with a mere 20 police personnel reached the elevated position taken by the naxalites inside the jungle and immediately mounted an assault on them. The Naxalites retaliated with heavy fire on the police team and in a fierce encounter lasting for about two hours. Shri Satapathy led the operations with exemplary courage before making the supreme sacrifice.
Shri Pramod Kumar Satapathy displayed highest degree of bravery and dedication to duty in the fight against Naxalites.
He was on 26 January 2009 awarded posthumously. The Ashoka Chakra- a reorganization of his courage which - is awarded to any individual, uniformed or civilian, for the most conspicuous bravery, or some act of daring, or pre-eminent act of valour, or self-sacrifice, otherwise than in the face of the enemy.