Thiruvananthapuram, Jun 6 (IANS): Alby D'Cruz, one of Kerala's proud Defence personnel who always maintained a low profile despite being the first Keralaite to be conferred the Ashoka Chakra, passed away here on Tuesday.
The 87-year-old D'Cruz hailed from the coastal hamlet at Valiyathura, a stone's throw from the Thiruvananthapuram international airport.
It was way back in 1962, he received the Asoka Chakra (Class III) from the country's first president Rajendra Prasad.
Since 1967, this award has been called 'Shaurya Chakra'.
D'Cruz joined the Indian Army as a Lance naik in the paramilitary force- Assam Rifles as a radio officer and his battalion was given the job of busting the Naga rebels.
Incidentally, his presence in the coastal hamlet was never known and his exploits also never made news, but it was when he turned 80 years in 2017, a local Coastal Organization decided to honor him, when many knew that he was a highly decorated soldier.
Among the pictures that adorna D'Cruz's house here include him receiving the prestigious award and shaking hands with the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru soon after receiving the award.