Home / News / India /  Independence Day: 20 ITBP personnel awarded gallantry medals for fighting Chinese PLA in Ladakh

75th Independence Day: Twenty personnel of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force, which guards India-China border, have been awarded gallantry medals for putting up a brave fight against Chinese army last year in Ladakh. 

In a statement, the ITBP said hat its twenty personnel have been awarded with Police Medal for Gallantry (PMG) for bravery in skirmishes in Eastern Ladakh in May-June, 2020 — 8 personnel for Galwan Nallah, 6 personnel each for Finger-4 and Hot Springs. 

These medals are among the total 1,380 service medals announced by the central government for various central and state police forces on the eve of Independence Day.

In the award list, there are two President's Police Medal for Gallantry (PPMG), 628 Police Medal for Gallantry (PMG), 88 President's police medal for distinguished service and 662 police medals for meritorious service.

This year, only two — Sub Inspector Amar Deep of Jammu and Kashmir Police and late Head Constable Kale Sunil Dattatraya (posthumously) of the CRPF — have been awarded top bravery medal, President's Police Medal for Gallantry.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police have got maximum gallantry medals at 257 (1 PPMG and 256 PMG), followed by the Central Reserve Police Force at 151 (1 PPMG and 150 PMG).

The ITBP has got 23 gallantry medals. Of these, twenty are for operations that took place during the May-June 2020 clashes with the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) in Ladakh. 

Out of the 20, eight personnel have been awarded the PMG for their gallant act, meticulous planning and tactical insightfulness and for defending the motherland in Galwan Nalla on June 15, ITBP said in a statement.

Six personnel have been awarded with the PMG for gallant action during violent face off on May 18 in the Finger IV area while the rest six have been decorated with the same medal for their gallant action near Hot Springs in Ladakh on the same day, the statement said.

"This is the highest number of gallantry medals awarded to the force for the bravery of its men in border face offs, skirmishes and border guarding duties," ITBP spokesperson Vivek Kumar Pandey said.

In eastern Ladakh, the ITBP troops not only effectively used shields to protect themselves but also responded fiercely to advancing Chinese PLA troops and brought the situation under control during "fierce" face offs and skirmishes.

"With highest order of professional skills, ITBP troops fought shoulder-to-shoulder and also brought the injured (Army) troops to the rear. Even when the ITBP troops fought the whole night, they received minimum casualties by giving befitting reply to the stone pelters of the PLA," the border guarding force said.

At certain places, the troops gave a "determined" standoff for about 17-20 hours throughout the intervening night (June 15-16) in extremely challenging conditions, according to ITBP. 

"Due to the high-altitude training and survival experience of the force at the icy Himalayan deployments, ITBP troops kept the PLA troops at bay and due to the all out and befitting response of ITBP troops at several fronts, many areas were safeguarded."

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

Twenty Indian Army soldiers were killed during these clashes. China had claimed the casualty figures on its side were five, which is widely believed to be much higher.

Three other ITBP personnel have been awarded the PMG for displaying courage, grit and determination in anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh, the statement said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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