20 ITBP Personnel Who Fought Chinese Troops In Ladakh Get Gallantry Medals
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20 ITBP Personnel Who Fought Chinese Troops In Ladakh Get Gallantry Medals

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This is the highest number of gallantry medals for ITBP for the bravery of its men in border face-off/skirmishes/border guarding duties

ITBP spokesman Vivek Pandey said ITBP has got 23 gallantry medals, out of which 20 have been awarded for bravery during Eastern Ladakh skirmishes in May-June 2020.

Twenty Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel, who fought shoulder-to-shoulder with the Army in keeping the Chinese troops at bay in Eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley and Gogra Hot Springs during clashes along the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC) last year, have been awarded gallantry medals ahead of the 75th Independence Day on Sunday.

In all, 630 security personnel, including 257 from the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Police, have been awarded medals for their bravery, the Union home ministry said on Saturday. The gallantry medals to J&K Police personnel have been awarded for counterterrorism and security/law and order-related operations. As many as 152 medals have been awarded to Central Reserve Police Force personnel involved in counterinsurgency and anti-Naxal operations across the country.

Overall, 1,320 police personnel across the country have been awarded gallantry, distinguished services, and meritorious services medals.

ITBP spokesman Vivek Pandey said ITBP has got 23 gallantry medals, out of which 20 have been awarded for bravery during Eastern Ladakh skirmishes in May-June 2020.

“This is the highest number of gallantry medals for ITBP for the bravery of its men in border face-off/skirmishes/border guarding duties,” Pandey said.

The Galwan Valley clash of June 15, 2020, was the deadliest between Indian and Chinese troops along the LAC in more than five decades and pushed the bilateral relationship to a breakpoint. It left 20 Indian soldiers and an undisclosed number of Chinese troops dead.

Pandey said out of 20 Jawans/officers awarded for gallantry in Eastern Ladakh, eight have been decorated for their gallant acts, meticulous planning, and tactical insightfulness and for defending the country in Galwan on June 15, 2020. “Six personnel have been awarded police medal for gallantry for their bravery during violent face off on May 18, 2020, in Finger IV area while six personnel have awarded for their gallant action near Hot Springs in Ladakh on May 18, 2020.”

The decorated officers of ITBP include Kishor Singh Bisht (Commandant) Rinku Thapa (2nd In Command) Sarat Kumar Tripathi (Deputy Commandant) and Arbind Kumar Mahato, Akshay Ahuja, Pankaj Srivastava, and Dharmendra Kumar Vishwakarma (Assistant Commandants).

“In eastern Ladakh, the ITBP troops not only effectively used shields to protect themselves but also responded fiercely to PLA (People’s Liberation Army)’s 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,” Pandey said.

“Even when the ITBP troops fought the whole night, they received minimum casualties by giving befitting reply to the stone pelters of the PLA. At places, they gave determined responses for about 17 to 20 hours throughout the intervening night in extremely challenging conditions.”

Pandey said 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. He added due to the befitting response of ITBP troops at several fronts, many areas were safeguarded.

“The ITBP troops showed the highest level of devotion, courage, determination, utter disregard to personal safety even in injured condition and exhibited great professional skills in the face of the violent physical scuffle with the PLA,” Pandey said.

In September last year, 300 ITBP personnel were awarded Director General’s Commendation Roll and insignias for bravery by SS Deswal, the head of the force, in Eastern Ladakh.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) joint director Manoj Shashidhar, who heads the agency’s key Anti-Corruption Headquarters unit, has been awarded President’s Police Medal for distinguished service.

A 1994 batch Gujarat cadre Indian Police Service officer, Shashidhar has been posted with the agency since January last year. Shashidhar is supervising probes into the AgustaWestland scam, Bollywood actor Sushant Singh’s death as well as corruption case against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh. He is among six CBI personnel, who have been awarded medals for distinguished service. Twenty-four other CBI officers have been decorated for meritorious service.

Inspector Neeraj Sharma of the National Investigation Agency’s Jammu branch, who was part of the team that cracked the 2019 Pulwama attack, has also been awarded the medal for meritorious service.

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