New Delhi: Acknowledging the valour of Colonel Santosh Babu, who was killed in action during a brawl with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan valley last year, the government is likely to award him posthumously with the second-highest wartime gallantry medal Maha Vir Chakra on the Republic Day this year. This has come from some senior government sources.
The Indian Army’s top brass recommended that soldiers who took on the Chinese troops in the Galwan valley clash should be awarded the wartime gallantry medals at this Republic Day. The long list of personnel recommended for the gallantry awards included Col Babu, who was the commanding officer of 16 Bihar Regiment.
The Galwan valley clash took place on the night of 15–16 June, 2020, when Indian troops led by Col Babu took on the Chinese troops near the Patrolling Point 14 at the line of actual control (LAC). The clash resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers and it is believed that the Chinese too suffered casualties, although Beijing didn’t officially acknowledge or release their figures.
The clash led to hardening of India's stand, which has now allowed troops to use weapons during patrolling after the use of unorthodox weapons by Chinese troops.