Colonel B Santosh Babu, who died fighting Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in June 2020, was accorded with the Mahavir Chakra on Tuesday. Babu’s mother and wife receive the award from President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
Babu was the commanding officer of the 16 Bihar regimen during Operation Snow Leopard, and was among the 20 Indian soldiers who laid down their lives in the fierce hand-to-hand combat on June 15 in the Galwan Valley. This incident marked one of the most serious military conflicts between India and China in decades.
During Operation Snow Leopard, Babu successfully executed the task of establishing an Observation Post in the face of the enemy.
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/oxonlAvEWL
— ANI (@ANI) November 23, 2021
“Undaunted by the violent and aggressive action by enemy soldiers, the officer, in true spirit of service before self, continued to resist the enemy’s attempt to push back Indian troops,” the Mahavir Chakra citation read.
The citation further highlighted his “exemplary leadership and astute professionalism” despite being grievously injured. “He showed conspicuous bravery in the face of the enemy and made supreme sacrifice for the nation,” it added.
Soldiers who have performed outstanding deeds of bravery and selfless sacrifice are awarded the bravery medals, such as Param Vir Chakra, Vir Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra, Shaurya Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Ashok Chakra on Republic Day.