Col Babu was the commanding officer of the 16 Bihar regiment during Operation Snow Leopard
In an investiture ceremony on Tuesday (Wednesday 23, 2021), the hero of Galwan valley clash Colonel Santosh Babu was awarded the second-highest wartime gallantry medal – the Mahavir Chakra (posthumously). He was awarded posthumously by President Ram Nath Kovind in an investiture ceremony on Tuesday and it was received by his mother and wife. He was born at Suryapet, roughly 140 kilometres from Hyderabad.
Operation Snow Leopard
Col Babu was the commanding officer of the 16 Bihar regiment during Operation Snow Leopard and he was among the 20 Indian soldiers who had laid down their lives in the fierce hand-to-hand combat on June 15, 2020 in the Galwan Valley. This was during the height of the India-China standoff last summer.
#WATCH | Col Santosh Babu accorded Mahavir Chakra posthumously for resisting Chinese Army attack while establishing an observation post in the face of the enemy in Galwan valley in Ladakh sector during Operation Snow Leopard.
His mother and wife receive the award from President. pic.twitter.com/vadfvXBz9M
— ANI (@ANI) November 23, 2021
Who were the others who were awarded today?
For their gallant actions against the belligerence of the Chinese Army in the Galwan Valley in the summer of 2020, four other soldiers who were martyred along with him were awarded Vir Chakras posthumously. They are: Havildar K Palani, Naib Subedar Nuduram Soren, Naik Deepak Singh, and Sepoy Gurtej Singh.
Galwan Valley Clash
In this clash, as has been reported extensively, India lost 20 soldiers in one of the fiercest clashes between the armies of India and China. China too had suffered major casualties.
The clash has led to the hardening of India’s stand. And now India has allowed its soldiers to use weapons during patrolling. This step has been taken after the use of unorthodox weapons by Chinese PLA troops of PLA.
What does the Citation of Col Santosh Babu say?
The citation mentions the successful execution of plans by Col Santosh Babu during Operation Snow Leopard. 16 BIHAR which was deployed in Galwan Valley at the time was tasked to set up an observation post in the face of the enemy.
Col Babu and his men had been successful in doing so and had faced resistance from the adversary who had attacked the column and used sharp and lethal weapons. There was also heavy stone pelting from adjoining heights.
Though he was hurt badly, the Col had led from the front despite the hostile conditions. And he continued to resist the enemy’s attempts to push back the Indian Army troops.
This had led to a skirmish and hand to hand combat with the enemy soldiers. He had fought valiantly till his last breath.