Prez honours Galwan heroes, counter-terrorismwarriors

TNN Bureau. Updated: 11/24/2021 11:14:39 AM Front Page

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday honoured the heroes of the Galwan clash and warriors of anti-counter-terrorism with gallantry awards in the Defence Investiture ceremony.
In the ceremony today, Colonel Santosh Babu, who was the commanding officer of the 16 Bihar regiment during Operation Snow Leopard and was among the 20 Indian soldiers who laid down their lives in the fierce hand-to-hand combat on June 15 in the Galwan Valley, was awarded the second-highest wartime gallantry medal - the Mahavir Chakra (posthumously).
"Col Bikumalla Santosh Babu, Commanding officer 16 BIHAR deployed in Galwan Valley (Eastern Ladakh) during Operation Snow Leopard was tasked to establish an observation post in face of the enemy," the citation said for Babu.
"Organising and briefing his troops about the situation with a sound plan, he successfully executed the task. While holding the position his column faced stiff resistance from the adversary who attacked using lethal and sharp weapons along with heavy stone pelting from adjoining heights," it added.
"Undaunted by the violent and aggressive action by the overwhelming strength of enemy soldiers, the officer in the true spirit of service before self, continued to resist the enemy's attempt to push back Indian troops," it said further.
Late Colonel's mother and wife received the award from the President.
Besides Colonel Babu, Naib Subedar Nuduram Soren, Havildar K Palani, Naik Deepak Singh, Sepoy Gurtej Singh also received Vir Chakra posthumously for their gallant actions against the vicious attack by the Chinese Army in the Galwan Valley in June last year as part of the Operation Snow Leopard.
President Kovind also presented Gallantry Awards to counter-terrorism defence personnel in Jammu and Kashmir.
Subedar Sanjiv Kumar of 4 Para Special Forces was accorded the Kirti Chakra posthumously for an operation in Keran sector in Jammu and Kashmir in which he killed one terrorist and injured two others.
Jammu and Kashmir SPO Bilal Ahmad Magray was awarded 'Shaurya Chakra' posthumously for showing indomitable courage in evacuating civilians and engaging terrorists despite being seriously injured during a counter-terror operation in Baramulla in 2019. His mother Sara Begum received the award on his behalf.
Magray's mother struggled to hold back her tears while listening to the citation on how her son evacuated civilians and engaged terrorists despite being seriously injured in the security operation.
Jammu and Kashmir Police Head Constable Abdul Rashid Kalas was awarded Kirti Chakra posthumously for showing 'exemplary courage in engaging and eliminating hardcore terrorists' during an operation in Pulwama in 2019. His wife Tasleema Begum received the award from President Kovind.
Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari and Navy chief designate Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar received Param Vishisht Seva Medal from President Ram Nath Kovind in the investiture ceremony.
Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen CP Mohanty received Param Vishisht Seva Medal and Lt Gen Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon was awarded Uttam Yudh Seva Medal in the ceremony.
Gallantry Awards honour military personnel who have displayed conspicuous gallantry, indomitable courage and extreme devotion to duty.

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