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Updated January 17th, 2024 at 14:36 IST

Fresh details of Indian Army’s covert recon missions emerge in the aftermath of Galwan Valley clash

Recent investiture ceremonies by the Western and Central Army Commands shed light on unreported clashes between Indian and Chinese armies along the LAC.

Yuvraj Tyagi
Indian Army Op Snowleopard
Recent investiture ceremonies by the Western and Central Army Commands shed light on unreported clashes between Indian and Chinese armies along the LAC. | Image:Republic
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New Delhi: In a recent revelation, clashes between the Indian and Chinese armies along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) during the past 15 months have come to light. The Western Army Command, headquartered at Chandimandir, and the Central Army Command, headquartered Lucknow, conducted separate investiture ceremonies, shedding light on these unreported incidents. Covert operations along the LAC were also acknowledged during these events, emphasizing the ongoing tensions between the two nations. 

At the investiture ceremonies, details of clashes were disclosed, highlighting instances of extraordinary valor by Indian troops. One such incident occurred at Shankar Tekri on January 7, 2022, when Sepoy Raman Singh from the 8th Battalion of the Sikh Light Infantry displayed unmatched bravery. Engaging in a brutal hand-to-hand battle, he repelled PLA attackers, seriously wounding four Chinese soldiers. Another clash on November 27, 2022, witnessed Naib Subedar Baldev Singh leading a charge against 50 PLA soldiers attempting to cross the LAC, injuring around 15 Chinese soldiers in the engagement. 

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Galwan Valley clash background 

The recent clashes add to the series of confrontations that began on May 5, 2020, between Chinese and Indian troops along the Sino-Indian border. These incidents involved aggressive face-offs and skirmishes in Ladakh, Tibet, and Sikkim. The Galwan Valley clash in June 2020 resulted in fatalities on both sides, marking the first time shots were fired along the LAC in 45 years.

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The investiture also recognized the leadership and composure of Lt Col Pushmeet Singh, the Commanding Officer of the 19th Battalion of the J&K Rifles. His patrol along the LAC successfully prevented a massive PLA infiltration attempt, resulting in a tense standoff lasting two days. Lt Col Pushmeet Singh's negotiation with the local Chinese commander during the crisis was instrumental, earning him the Sena Medal (Gallantry). 

Covert operations and strategic edge 

Simultaneously, covert operations along the LAC were acknowledged, showcasing India's strategic vigilance. Major Sourav Kumar, CO of the 15th Battalion of the Kumaon Regiment, received the Sena Medal (Gallantry) for leading a covert mission within uncharted territory. Havildar Pardeep Kumar Singh, from the same battalion, was also honored for the same operation. Meanwhile, Lt Col Yogesh Kumar Sati, attached to the army’s Intelligence Corps, displayed tactical skill during Operation Snow Leopard, receiving the Sena Medal (Gallantry).

Major Nitish Tyagi (12 Para SF) and Major A Ranjit Kumar (23 Para SF) receiving Bar to Sena Medal Gallantry. | Credit- ADGPI

At the Central Command investiture, Major Nitish Tyagi from the 12 Para Special Forces Battalion was recognized for staying in a high-altitude area for 120 hours amid adverse weather conditions, monitoring PLA activities. He was awarded the Bar to the Sena Medal (Gallantry), emphasizing the continued need for surveillance in the region. 

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Notably, the investiture ceremonies highlighted the dedication and bravery of Indian soldiers facing challenges along the tense border with China. The acknowledgment of covert operations emphasizes the importance of maintaining a strategic edge in the region. 

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Published January 17th, 2024 at 14:36 IST

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