The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has recommended the name of 21 of its soldiers for gallantry medals during this year’s Independence Day. ITBP has also awarded 294 of its men with the DG’s gallantry commendations.
The soldiers have been recommended as they faced the Chinese troops at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh during May-June, when the confrontation between the two countries was at its peak.
“294 personnel have been awarded with the DG’s commendation rolls and insignias by ITBP chief SS Deswal on the eve of the Independence Day,” the force said.
The force added that six personnel of the force have also been awarded with the same DG commendation for showing courage in anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh.
First official account of standoff
In its first official account of the standoff between the two militaries, the ITBP revealed how its troops fought back the Chinese transgressions. It said its troops “not only effectively used shield to protect themselves, but also responded fiercely to advancing Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops and brought the situation under control”.
Notably, ITBP troops displayed the highest order of professional skills and “fought shoulder-to-shoulder and also brought the injured Indian Army troops to the rear”.
The ITBP said its troops “fought the whole night” in the area and they received minimum casualties. It also gave a befitting reply to the stone-pelters of the PLA.
“At places, they (ITBP) gave a determined standoff for about 17-20 hours throughout.”
“Due to the high-altitude training and manoeuver experience of the force in the Himalayas, the ITBP troops kept PLA troops at bay. Due to the all-out and befitting response of ITBP jawans at almost all fronts, many areas were safeguarded in the hypersensitive areas,” it said.
20 Indian soldiers killed on June 15
Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in a violent faceoff with the Chinese troops in the eastern Ladakh area on the intervening night of June 15-16. While China has accepted that it also suffered causalities during these clashes, it has not given out exact numbers.
Recommendations for Home Minister’s special operations medal
Also, among the Independence Day decorations are recommendations for the Home Minister’s special operations medal to 358 ITBP and other paramilitary forces personnel for their dedicated services in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
“The names of 318 ITBP personnel and 40 other CAPF personnel have been sent for award of Union Home Minister special operations medals for their dedicated services in the fight against the COVID-19,” it said.
The force is operating over 10,000-bed COVID-19 Sardar Patel hospital, the country’s largest facility, at the Radha Soami Beas in Delhi’s Chhattarpur that opened on July 5.
It also set up the first coronavirus quarantine facility in the Chhawla area of Delhi in January, besides running the Central Armed Police Forces Referral Hospital in Greater Noida.
ITBP’s primary task is to guard the LAC
The about 90,000-personnel strong ITBP is primarily tasked to guard the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. LAC runs from the Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh.
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