ITBP personnel who aided army in Ladakh recommended for medals
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) on Friday said it has recommended the names of its 21 personnel for gallantry medals for fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with the army in keeping the Chinese troops at bay amid the border standoff between the two countries over the last three months in Ladakh.
The paramilitary force, which is responsible for guarding the 3,488-km de facto border between the two countries, or the Line of Actual Control (LAC), said its 294 personnel have been awarded the commendation disk of the ITBP’s director-general for their bravery in Ladakh.
An officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, clarified ITBP’s statement on Friday detailing how its troops have responded to the Chinese in Ladakh relates to over half-a-dozen smaller incidents there since May in which ITBP and the army responded collectively. The statement is not just about the June 15 Galwan Valley clash in which 20 Indian and unspecified Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers were killed, the officer added.
Tensions between India and China escalated when Indian soldiers were attacked with rocks and clubs in the worst clash in decades between the troops of the two countries on June 15. Five rounds of top-level military talks have since failed to break the deadlock.
The ITBP statement said its troops responded fiercely to the PLA’s advancing soldiers and brought the situation under control. “With the highest order of professional skills, ITBP troops fought shoulder to shoulder and also brought the injured Indian Army troops to the rear,” the statement said. “Even when the ITBP troops fought the whole night, they received minimum casualties by giving a befitting reply to the stone pelters of the PLA.”
The statement said due to their high altitude training and manoeuvre experience in the Himalayas deployments, ITBP troops kept the PLA troops at bay. It added due to the all-out and befitting response of ITBP jawans at almost all fronts, many areas were safeguarded in the hypersensitive areas.
The statement is the first official account of the force of its role in Ladakh.
ITBP said it has also awarded the commendation disk to its personnel for their courage in anti-Maoist operations in Chhattisgarh. It has recommended the names of 318 of its personnel and 40 troopers from other paramilitary forces for the home minister’s special operations medal for their dedicated services in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The names of 318 ITBP personnel and 40 other CAPF (central armed police force) personnel have been sent for the 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 such facility, at the Radha Soami Beas in Delhi’s Chhattarpur since July 5.