New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday paid tributes to the Army personnel killed in the Galwan Valley clashes two years back that marked the most serious military conflict between India and China in decades.
“Remembering the heroes of Galwan who fought valiantly for the honour of the country and laid down their lives on June 15-16, 2020. Their courage, bravery and supreme sacrifice will never be forgotten. I pay homage to those bravehearts,” the defence minister tweeted.
Singh is currently on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
The eastern Ladakh border standoff escalated significantly following the Galwan Valley clashes in which 20 Indian Army personnel laid down their lives.
In February last year, China officially acknowledged that five Chinese military officers and soldiers were killed in the clashes though it is widely believed that the death toll on the Chinese side was much higher.
Colonel Bikumalla Santosh Babu, the commanding officer of the 16 Bihar regiment, had led from the front against the Chinese aggression near Patrolling Point 14 in Galwan Valley.
In November last year, he was posthumously awarded Mahavir Chakra, the second-highest military award for acts of gallantry in the presence of the enemy.
Months after the deadly confrontation, the Army built a memorial for the ‘Gallants of Galwan’ at Post 120 in eastern Ladakh.
The memorial mentioned their heroics under operation ‘Snow Leopard’ and the way they evicted the PLA troops from the area while inflicting “heavy casualties” on them.
The names of the 20 Army personnel were also inscribed on the National War Memorial in Delhi in January last year.
The eastern Ladakh border standoff between India and China began in early May of 2020.
As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area.
Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the sensitive sector.