Updated: January 26, 2021 9:23:55 am
All the 20 soldiers who had died fighting the Chinese troops in hand-to-hand combat at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on June 15, in which the Chinese had used rods, batons wrapped with barbed wire and other objects, have been awarded gallantry awards posthumously.
The awards to these soldiers comprise one Maha Vir Chakra, four Vir Chakras and 15 Sena Medals. One soldier who survived the clash has been awarded a Vir Chakra.
Late Colonel B Santosh Babu, commanding officer of the 16 Bihar regiment that was posted in Galwan Valley near Patrolling Point 14 has been awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, the second highest military award.
His citation mentioned that “during Operation Snow Leopard”, he was “tasked to establish an Observation Post in face of the enemy”. Organising and briefing his troops about the situation with a sound plan, he successfully executed the task, the citation said.
“While holding the position his column faced stiff resistance from the adversary who attacked using lethal and sharp weapons along with heavy stone pelting from adjoining heights,” the citation said, adding that “undaunted by the violent and aggressive action by overwhelming strength of enemy soldiers, the officer in true spirit of service before self, continued to resist the enemy’s attempt to pushback Indian troops”. Despite being grievously injured, it said, Babu “led from the front with absolute command and control despite hostile conditions to deter the vicious enemy attack at his position”.
“In the skirmish that broke out and ensuing hand to hand combat with enemy soldiers, he valiantly resisted the enemy attack till his last breath, inspiring and motivating his troops to hold ground. For conspicuous bravery in face of enemy, exemplary leadership, astute professionalism and supreme sacrifice in the line of duty”, he is awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, the citation said.
The five Vir Chakra awardee soldiers for the Galwan fight include Naib Subedar Nuduram Soren, Havildar K Palani, Naik Deepak Singh, and Sepoy Gurtej Singh, who have been awarded posthumously, and Havildar Tejinder Singh.
Subedar Sanjiv Kumar of the Parachute Regiment has been awarded the Kirti Chakra posthumously for an operation of which he was a part of on April 4. His citation mentioned that Kumar “was the leading squad commander of the Special Forces detachment which was heli-dropped in Keran Sector (Jammu & Kashmir) to intercept and eliminate an infiltration track of Pakistan sponsored terrorists”. He “displayed outstanding leadership qualities, raw courage and utmost gallantry in eliminating one hardcore terrorist, injuring two terrorists, evacuating his injured scout and made the supreme sacrifice in the highest traditions of the Indian Army. His selfless action led to the subsequent elimination of five hardcore terrorists”, the citation said.
Four CRPF personnel have been awarded Kirti Chakras. They include Deputy Commandant Rahul Mathur and three personnel who have been awarded posthumously — Inspector Pintu Kumar Singh, Head Constable Shyam Narain Singh Yadava and Constable Vinod Kumar.
Major Anuj Sood (posthumous), Rifleman Pranab Jyoti Das and Paratrooper Sonam Tshering Tamang have been awarded Shaurya Chakras.
President Ram Nath Kovind approved 455 Gallantry and other defence decorations for armed forces personnel. The government said that the medals include 4 Bar to Sena Medal (Gallantry), 130 Sena Medal (Gallantry), one Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry), 4 Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry), 30 Param Vishisht Seva Medal, 4 Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, 51 Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, 11 Yudh Seva Medal, 3 Bar to Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty), 43 Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) including 2 COVID Warriors, 8 Nao Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty), 14 Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty), 3 Bar to Vishisht Seva Medal including one COVID Warrior and 131 Vishisht Seva Medal including 12 COVID Warriors.
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