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20 ITBP personnel awarded for bravery in eastern Ladakh in May-June 2020

Twenty personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, who defended the country in eastern Ladakh during the India-China border faceoff in May-June 2020, have been awarded for their bravery.

20 ITBP personnel awarded for bravery in eastern Ladakh in May-June 2020-VPN
New Delhi, First Published Aug 14, 2021, 12:14 PM IST

Recognising its heroes for displaying their utmost courage in defending the sovereignty of the country, India has awarded the Police Medal for Gallantry to 20 ITBP personnel who had taken Chinese troops head-on at different locations in eastern Ladakh last year. 

On the occasion of 75th Independence Day, a total of 23 ITBP personnel have been awarded the Gallantry medals, including 3 for anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh. 

Out of 20, eight personnel were awarded the PMG for their gallantry act, meticulous planning and tactical insightfulness and for defending the country in Galwan Nalla on June 15, 2020. 

A total of 20 Indian Army troops, including a Colonel-rank officer, were killed in a violent faceoff in the Galwan Valley. Chinese also suffered massive casualties but accepted only four. All the martyrs were awarded gallantry awards. Colonel Santosh Babu was awarded Mahavir Chakra on Republic Day 2021 while six personnel were given Vir Chakra and 14 Mention in Despatches. 

On May 18, 2020, there were skirmishes between the security forces of India and China at the Finger area and the Hot Spring area in the Ladakh region. A total of 12 personnel of ITBP who were involved in the violent faceoff have been awarded PMG for gallant action in the Finger IV area and Hot Springs.

ITBP spokesperson Vivek Pandey said that this was the highest number of gallantry medals awarded for the bravery of its men in border guarding duties.

The name of troops includes 2nd In Command Rinku Thapa, Kishor Singh Bisht, Deputy Commandant Sarat Kumar Tripathi, Assistant Commandant Arbind Kumar Mahato, Akshay Ahuja, Dharmendra Kumar Vishwakarma, Pankaj Srivastava, Inspector Nitin Kumar, Ravindra Maharana, Sub Inspector Patil Sachin Mohan, Ghanshyam Sahu, Head Constable Manish Kumar, Shiv Shankar Tiwari, Constable Manish Kumar, Kauppasamy M, Stanzin Thinles, Vinod Kumar Sharma, Ashraf Ali, Mohd. Shafkat Mir, Rigzin Dawa.

For the anti-Naxal operation that took place in July 2018, the awardees include Assistant Commandant Ravinder Singh Punia, Inspector Kuldeep Singh, Constable S Muthu Raja.

In eastern Ladakh, "the ITBP troops not only effectively used shields to protect themselves but also responded fiercely to China's PLA advancing troops and brought the situation under control during fierce face-offs and skirmishes. With the highest order of professional skills, ITBP troops fought shoulder to shoulder and also brought the injured troops to the rear," the ITBP spokesperson said.

During the fierce fight, “the ITBP troops fought whole night, they received minimum casualties by giving befitting reply to the stone pelters of the PLA,” he said. 

At places, they gave determined standoff about 17 to 20 hours throughout the intervening night in extremely challenging conditions. 

Due to the high altitude training and survival experience of the force in the Himalayan deployments at the icy heights, the ITBP troops kept the PLA troops at bay and safeguarded several areas in the Ladakh region, the ITBP spokesperson said.

Besides these gallantry medals, ITBP DG SS Deswal has awarded DG’s commendation roll and insignias for bravery to 300 personnel, who were deployed in eastern Ladakh, in September last year.

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