Colonel Santosh Babu, who led from the front against the Chinese attack in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley in June last year has been awarded the Maha Vir Chakra posthumously. President Ram Nath Kovind handed over this honour to his mother and wife at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the top military brass of the country.
“Colonel Bikumalla Santosh Babu displayed exemplary leadership and astute professionalism. He showed conspicuous bravery in the face of the enemy and made supreme sacrifice for the nation,” the official citation said. Besides Colonel Babu, Naib Subedar Nuduram Soren, Havildar K Palani, Naik Deepak Singh, Sepoy Gurtej Singh will receive their Vir Chakras posthumously for their gallant actions against the vicious attack by the Chinese Army in the Galwan Valley in June.
WATCH | President Ram Nath Kovind accords Mahavir Chakra (posthumously) to Col Santosh Babu for resisting the Chinese Army attack while establishing an observation post in the face of the enemy in the Galwan valley, Ladakh. @rashtrapatibhvn pic.twitter.com/yOKtb6i6zc
— Prasar Bharati News Services पी.बी.एन.एस. (@PBNS_India) November 23, 2021
India lost 20 troops in the fiercest clash between the two sides in a long time. The Chinese also suffered significant casualties. The clash led to the hardening of India’s stand, which has now allowed troops to use weapons during patrolling after the use of unorthodox weapons by Chinese troops.
Mahavir Chakra is the second highest wartime gallantry award after the Param Vir Chakra.