President Ram Nath Kovind conferred gallantry awards to the personnel of Armed Forces, including Galwan Valley heroes, those who fought off Chinese troops, and Indian Coast Guard during Defence Investiture Ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The President also conferred 14 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, two Uttam Yudh Seva Medals and 23 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals for distinguished service of exceptional order.
Mahavir Chakra (posthumously) was conferred to Colonel Santosh Babu, who made supreme sacrifice in protecting India's sovereignty during the violent face-off with the Chinese troops in Eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley on June 15 last year. His wife and mother received the award.
Among the other Galwan heroes who received the gallantry awards posthumously include Naib Subedar Nuduram Soren (16 Bihar), Havildar K. Palani (81 Field), Naik Deepak Singh (16 Bihar) and Sepoy Gurtej Singh (3 Punjab). Havildar Tejinder Singh (3 Medium) received Vir Chakras himself, the hero who resisted the Chinese aggression.
The citation for Col Santosh Babu reads that the 16 Bihar Commanding Officer was deployed in Galwan Valley during Operation Snow Leopard and was tasked with establishing an observation post in the face of the enemy (China). The citation states that the late Colonel executed the plan successfully after having organised and briefed his soldiers about the situation with a sound plan.
It further states that Col Santosh Babu's column faced stiff resistance while holding the position. The adversary attacked using lethal and sharp weapons along with heavy stone pelting from adjoining heights. He resisted the enemy's attempts to push back Indian troops and was undaunted by the aggressive action by the overwhelming strength of the enemy soldiers.
Apart from that the Indian Army's 4 Para Special Forces Subedar Sanjiv Kumar's kin received the Kirti Chakra for his anti-terror operation in the Keran sector of Jammu and Kashmir. Subedar Sanjiv Kumar was killed while he and his squad eliminated from close quarters five terrorists who had infiltrated the Line of Control.