NEW DELHI: Troops of the Indo-Tibetan Border Force (ITBP) fought shoulder-to-shoulder with Army jawans in many areas of Eastern Ladakh and warded off the People Liberation Army’s “stone-pelters” in May- June, the border guarding force said on Friday, recommending gallantry medals for 21 of its personnel who displayed “raw courage bravely” during the clashes with the Chinese soldiers.
The ITBP specified that these skirmishes took place in areas other than Galwan Valley, where 20 Indian soldiers were killed in June. In the first official account of the stand-off, the ITBP revealed how its troops fought PLA soldiers for nights and at places, gave a determined resistance to Chinese aggression for 17-20 hours.
Recommending the names for gallantry medals, ITBP said as the Chinese soldiers hurled stones, its troops “not only effectively used shield to protect themselves but also responded fiercely to advancing PLA troops and brought the situation under control”. In a statement, the force said, “Even when the ITBP troops fought whole night, they received minimum casualties by giving befitting reply to the stone-pelters of PLA.
Due to the high-altitude training and manoeuvre experience of the force in the Himalayas, the ITBP troops kept PLA troops at bay and due to the all-out and befitting response of ITBP jawans at almost all fronts, many areas were safeguarded in the hyper-sensitive areas.” Though the force did not get any Police Medal for Gallantry (PMG) this Independence Day, the 21 ITBP personnel will be considered for the prestigious award on Republic Day. The force also announced that 294 of its personnel have been awarded the Director General commendation for displaying bravery during recent skirmishes in Ladakh.
Six personnel have also been awarded with the DG commendation for showing courage in anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh. The 90,000-personnel strong ITBP guards the 3,488-km long LAC with China that runs from the Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh. The ITBP also recommended the names of 318 personnel for the Union Home Minister special operations medal for their services in the Covid fight.