DELHI: Colonel B Santhosh Babu, Commanding Officer of 16 Bihar Unit, and two others of the Unit have been conferred with Gallantry awards including the wartime Maha Vir Chakra on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, by President Ram Nath Kovind.
President, the Supreme Commander, also gave Hav Tejinder Singh from 2 Medium Regiment the third-highest wartime gallantry award, along with four posthumous Vir Chakras - Nb Sub Nuduram Soren and Nk Deepak Singh from 16 Bihar, Hav K Palani from 81 Field regiment and Sep Gurtej Singh from 3 Punjab. Hav Tejinder Singh was also among those who were in Galwan Valley has also been awarded Vir Chakra.
Col Babu’s wife B. Santoshi and his mother Manjula received the award at the investiture ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in addition to the top military brass of the country.
The family members of the other soldiers conferred the gallantry awards also received the gallantry medals from the President.
Naib Soren’s wife Laxmi Mani Soren, Havildar Palani’s wife Vanathi Devi and Naik Singh’s wife, Rekha Singh, Sepoy Singh’s mother Prakash Kaur and father Virsa Singh received the Vir Chakras.
20 Indian soldiers were killed in the violent clashes with Chinese PLA soldiers in Galwan Valley on the night of June 15, 2020. The task to establish an observation post, an operation named Snow Leopard, was given to Col Babu. "Colonel Babu was tasked to establish an observation post in the face of the enemy and he successfully executed the task, organising and briefing his troops about the situation with a sound plan", the citation mentioned.
“In the skirmish that broke out and ensuing hand to hand combat with enemy soldiers, he valiantly resisted the enemy attack till his last breath, inspiring and motivating his troops to hold ground.” Colonel Babu led from the front.
In the clash, Naib Subedar Soren led his column and resisted the enemy’s attempt to push back the Indian soldiers while establishing the observation post, the citation said. “Soren displayed raw courage, fighting with a resolute spirit before succumbing to his injuries.”
Like a true comrade Havildar Palani stood bravely and tried to defend his comrades, the citation reads. Even when the enemy attacked him with a sharp weapon. His act of valour inspired other fellow soldiers to fight fiercely and resist enemy aggression, according to his citation.
Citation of Naik Singh quotes, he was performing duties as a nursing assistant and played a pivotal role in rendering treatment and saving the lives of more than 30 Indian soldiers. Sepoy Singh successfully spotted the enemy troops while establishing the observation post and displayed raw courage and exceptional combat skills in resisting the enemy troops and kept fighting even after he was seriously injured.
Indian Army has raised a war memorial at Chushul dedicated to the 20 soldiers killed in action in Galwan.