NEW DELHI: The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) on Friday said its troops “fought the whole night” and gave a befitting reply to the Chinese soldiers who attacked them with stones during their clash in Galwan in Eastern Ladakh.
“At places, they (ITBP) gave a determined standoff for about 17-20 hours throughout,” it said.
In its first official account of the standoff between the two militaries, the ITBP revealed how its troops “not only effectively used shield to protect themselves but also responded fiercely to advancing PLA (Chinese People’s Liberation Army) troops and brought the situation under control”.
“Due to the high-altitude training and manoeuver experience of the force in the Himalayas, the ITBP troops kept PLA troops at bay and due to the all out and befitting response of ITBP jawans at almost all fronts, many areas were safeguarded in the hyper sensitive areas,” it said.
It said ITBP troops displayed the highest order of professional skills and “fought shoulder-to-shoulder and also brought the injured Indian Army troops to the rear”.
Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in a violent face-off with the Chinese troops in the eastern Ladakh area on the intervening night of June 15-16.
While China has accepted that it also suffered causalities during these clashes, it has not given out exact numbers.
As many as 294 Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force personnel have been awarded the Director General (DG) commendation for displaying bravery during the skirmishes with Chinese troops in Ladakh, the border force said .
It added that recommendations for awarding gallantry medals to 21 troops posted in this area have been sent to the government.
“The ITBP has recommended the names of 21 men who faced the Chinese during the face-offs and skirmishes in May-June this year for gallantry,” it said.
“Also, 294 personnel have been awarded with the DG’s commendation rolls and insignias by ITBP chief S S Deswal on the eve of the Independence Day,” the force said.
The about 90,000-personnel strong ITBP is primarily tasked to guard the 3,488-km long Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China that runs from the Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh.