HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The award will be given away for Babu’s bravery in the Galwan Valley operation
  • The govt has issued a statement of honor, praising the Colonel’s bravery
  • Besides Babu, other heroes of Galwan will be awarded Vir Chakras posthumously

On Tuesday, the Maha Vir Chakra will be awarded posthumously to Colonel Santosh Babu, who died during duty on an observation point, trying to resist the attacks of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), during the Galwan Valley crisis last year. Government sources have stated that Babu lost his life in ‘Operation Snow Leopard’. The government citation claimed, “Colonel Bikumalla Santosh Babu, commanding officer of the 16 Bihar regiment deployed in Galwan Valley (Eastern Ladakh) during Operation Snow Leopard, was tasked to establish an observation post in face of the enemy.”

The citation further stated, “While holding the position his column faced stiff resistance from the adversary who attacked using lethal and sharp weapons along with heavy stone pelting from adjoining heights. Undaunted by the violent and aggressive action overwhelming strength of enemy soldiers, the officer in the true spirit of service before self, continued to resist the enemy’s attempt to pushback Indian troops.”

The government document has given an elaborate description of Babu’s bravery during the violent standoff. It read, “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.” Besides Santosh Babu, the government has decided to award Vir Chakras posthumously to other brave hearts of Operation Snow Leopard. The list includes Naib Subedar Nuduram Soren, Havildar K Palani, Naik Deepak Singh, and Sepoy Gurtej Singh.

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