New Delhi: Twenty-three officers of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have been bestowed the Police Medal for Gallantry (PMG) this Independence Day. Out of these, at least 20 have been bestowed for their bravery in the encounter with China in eastern Ladakh last year.
This is the highest number of gallantry medals for ITBP which is engaged in border guarding duties.
While eight personnel have been bestowed the PMG for gallant action, accurate planning and tactical insightfulness and for protecting the motherland in Galwan Nalla on June 15, 2020, six personnel achieved the medal for their bravery during the violent encounter on May 18, 2020, in Finger IV area. Six personnel who were deployed near Hot Springs in Ladakh on 18 May, 2020 during the face off with China also achieved the gallantry medal.
Apart from these, three personnel have been awarded the Police Medal for Gallantry for displaying courage, grit, and determination in anti-naxal actions in Chhattisgarh.
During last year’s confrontation with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh, the ITBP troops reacted fiercely to PLA advancing troops and brought the situation to a standstill. With the highest order of professional skills, ITBP troops fought shoulder to shoulder and also brought the wounded troops to the rear.
At places, the ITBP officers- who have high altitude training and survival experience – gave a determined impasse of about 17 to 20 hours throughout the intervening night in extremely protesting conditions.
India and China were locked in a military impasse at multiple friction points in eastern Ladakh since early May last year. Thus, both countries have completed the retraction of troops and weapons from the North and South banks of Pangong lake in February following a series of military and diplomatic dialogues.
The two sides are now engaged in converse to stretch the disengagement process to the remaining friction points.
As reported by military officials, each side now has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive sector.