New Delhi: Paramilitary force ITBP has recommended names of 21 of its men for gallantry medals for showing exemplary courage during the face-offs between the troops of India and China in May-June this year in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.
These men from the mountaineering specialist force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), have won the laurels for bravery exhibited during the Chinese aggression in the Galwan Valley along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) which began on May 5 this year.
On June 15, as many as 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed in a violent clash in the Galwan Valley.
“The ITBP troops not only effectively used shields to protect themselves but also responded fiercely to the advancing People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops and brought the situation under control,” the ITBP said.
With professional skills of the highest order, ITBP men fought shoulder to shoulder along with their Indian Army personnel and also brought the injured soldiers to the rear, it said.
“Even when the ITBP troops fought the whole night, they suffered the minimum casualties while giving befitting replies to the stone-pelters of the PLA. At places, they ensured a determined stand-off for 17 to 20 hours throughout the intervening nights.”
Due to their high-altitude training and manoeuvre experience during deployment across the Himalayas, the ITBP said, its troops kept the PLA troops at bay. “Due to the all- out and befitting response of ITBP jawans at almost all fronts, many places were safeguarded in the hyper-sensitive areas.”
Also, the names of 318 ITBP personnel and 40 other CAPFs personnel have been recommended for the award of the Union Home Minister Special Operation Medals for their dedicated services in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The ITBP has been in the forefront of the Covid-19 battle since January 2020, when it had established the biggest quarantine facility in west Delhi’s Chhawla Camp for Wuhan and Italy evacuees.
Besides dedicating its hospitals for Covid-19 patients from the CAPFs and Central Police Organisations, the force is also looking after the world’s biggest 10,000-bed capacity Sardar Patel Covid-19 Care Centre and Hospital at Radha Soami Satsang Beas dera at Chhatarpur in New Delhi since July 5.
As many as 294 ITBP personnel have also been awarded the Director General’s commendation rolls and insignias by ITBP chief SS Deswal on the eve of the Independence Day. Another six personnel have been awarded for their courage in anti-naxal operations in Chhattisgarh.