Call it bravery, determination, passion or fearlessness, this man has got it all. February 14th, 2017 was a day of ultimate despair for CRPF’s Chetan Kumar Cheetah who suffered 9 shots on his body during an encounter in Bandipore. He suffered injuries in his brain, abdomen, arms, right eye and thighs. Cheetah was the Commanding Officer (CO) of 45th battalion of the CRPF.
“Before that day we along with the Jammu and Kashmir Police and the Indian Army conducted many successful operations altogether. But the situation that day was a little different. The Army sent their party before time and I suppose the terrorist came to know about this,” he said to a source during recovery.
After getting shot, he was admitted to AIIMS where he was treated and he was in coma for a month and a half after which he started to recover. Soon after that, he proposed his desire to resume his duty with CoBRA battalion of the CRPF which fights Naxalites in the Left Wing Extremism affected areas.
He was the recipient of second highest gallantry award – Kirti Chakra. He waa also lauded by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Army chief General Bipin Rawat, and chiefs of other forces following the 2017 attack. Chetan along with his troop was ambushed by terrorists hiding in that area and there was massive exchange of fire between the CRPF forces and the terrorists. Cheetah received nine bullet shots that left him severely injured. Despite all this, he thwarted the mission which was followed by unconscious state, loss of an eye and is undergoing physiotherapy to gain sensation in his hand.
The Times of India quoted Chetan Cheetah’s wife as saying, “There are small issues (related to his health) which will take some time. But he is very happy to join back and is even eager to go back to combat duties”.
At the moment, he has been given the office work of CRPF directorate at CGO Complex and he is waiting for the posting now. It will take a couple of years for him to fully recover and get on the combat role.
He is an inspiration for the whole nation that even at such an age, his determination to work for the country has not faded and that he desires to work again in the field after surviving huge injuries.