Galwan hero Col Santosh Babu awarded Maha Vir Chakra

New Delhi: Colonel Bikumalla Santosh Babu was awarded the country’s second-highest military gallantry honor, the Maha Vir Chakra, posthumously for fighting Chinese soldiers “till his last breath”.

Colonel Babu’s mother and wife received the award from President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

The investiture ceremony also witnessed the awarding of five Vir Chakras, four of which were posthumous, for the fighting in Galwan Valley on June 15, 2020.

Colonel Babu was the Commanding Officer of 16 Bihar regiment which was deployed in Galwan Valley for Operation Snow Leopard. India and China had been involved in a military standoff from early May last year, and the two sides had been discussing disengagement.

It was during this period that troops from both sides got involved in a hand-to-hand combat in the Galwan Valley, near Patrolling Point (PP) 14, on June 15, which resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers, including Babu, and at least four Chinese troops.

Babu’s citation mentioned that as the CO of his unit, he was tasked with establishing an Observation Post in the face of the enemy, which he successfully did.

Babu, despite being “grievously injured” the citation stated, “led from the front with absolute command and control despite hostile conditions to deter the vicious enemy attack at his position”. In the “ensuing hand to hand combat with enemy soldiers, he valiantly resisted the enemy attack till his last breath, inspiring and motivating his troops to hold ground”.

Four of his soldiers, who were killed during the clashes, have been awarded the Vir Chakra (posthumously) as well.

Image courtesy of (courtesy: Twitter @FlagsOfHonour)

Share this post