Troops fought for 17-20 hours with Chinese in Ladakh, says ITBP

ITBP said its troops 'effectively used shields to protect themselves and responded fiercely to advancing PLA soldiers

Sources said soldiers from India and China were involved in scuffles on at least two occasions. Representational image: PTI

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) said on Friday (August 14) that its troops “fought the whole night” in the area and they received minimum casualties, while gave a befitting reply to the stone-pelters of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). “At places, they (ITBP) gave a determined standoff for about 17-20 hours throughout,” it noted.

“Due to the high-altitude training and manoeuver 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,” it said.

The force added that six personnel of the force have also been awarded with the same DG commendation for showing courage in anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh.

Furthermore, among the Independence Day decorations are recommendations for the Home Minister’s special operations medal to 358 ITBP and other paramilitary forces personnel for their dedicated services in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“The names of 318 ITBP personnel and 40 other CAPF personnel have been sent for award of Union Home Minister special operations medals for their dedicated services in fight against the COVID-19,” it said.

At the same time, a total of 294 ITBP force personnel have been awarded the Director General (DG) commendation for displaying bravery during recent skirmishes with Chinese troops in Ladakh.

The ITBP added that recommendations for awarding gallantry medals to 21 troops posted in this area have been sent to the government. In its first official account of the standoff between the two militaries, the ITBP revealed how its troops “not only effectively used shield to protect themselves but also responded fiercely to advancing PLA (Chinese Peoples Liberation Army) troops and brought the situation under control”.

The ITBP has recommended the names of 21 men who faced the Chinese during the face-offs and skirmishes in May-June this year for gallantry,” it said. “Also, 294 personnel have been awarded with the DG’s commendation rolls and insignias by ITBP chief S S Deswal on the eve of the Independence Day,” the force said.

Furthermore, India on Friday said it expects China to sincerely work with it towards the objective of achieving “complete disengagement” of troops and de-escalation of tension in the border areas in eastern Ladakh.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said full restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas as agreed to by the two sides is essential in the context of overall development of the bilateral relationship.

Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in a violent faceoff with the Chinese troops in the eastern Ladakh area on the intervening night of June 15-16. While China has accepted that it also suffered causalities during these clashes, it has not given out exact numbers.

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