Twenty-three Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) staff members received the Police Medal for Gallantry (PMG) this Independence Day. Of these, at least 20 have been awarded for their bravery in the confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh last year.
This is the highest number of gallantry medals for ITBP involved in border guard duties.
While eight personnel were awarded the PMG for gallant action, meticulous planning and tactical acumen and for defending the motherland in Galwan Nalla on June 15, 2020, six personnel were awarded the medal for their bravery during the violent confrontation on May 18, 2020, in the area of Finger IV. Six staff members stationed near Hot Springs in Ladakh during the confrontation with China on May 18, 2020 also received the Medal of Valor.
In addition to the above, three staff members have been awarded a Police Medal of Valor for showing courage, nerve and determination in anti-naxal operations in Chhattisgarh.
During last year’s confrontation with Chinese soldiers in eastern Ladakh, ITBP forces responded fiercely to PLA’s advancing forces and brought the situation under control. With the highest professional skills, ITBP troops fought shoulder to shoulder and also brought back the wounded troops.
In places, ITBP personnel – who have high altitude training and survival experience – delivered a determined standoff of about 17 to 20 hours in extremely challenging conditions during the intervening night.
India and China had been locked in a military standoff at multiple points of friction in eastern Ladakh since early May last year. However, both countries completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the northern and southern shores of Lake Pangong in February after a series of military and diplomatic talks.
The two sides are now in talks to extend the withdrawal process to the remaining points of friction.
According to military officials, each side currently has about 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive sector.