As many as 260 personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have been awarded the Union Home Minister’s Special Operation Medal on National Unity Day-2021 for various special operations carried out by the force in Eastern Ladakh. This is the highest number of Union Home Minister’s Special Operation Medals awarded to any organisation on a single occasion.
The ITBP men guarded the borders in Ladakh in extreme conditions through its operation ‘Snow Leopard’ on the icy heights. The force carried out a high level of strategic planning and efficient execution of ground operations with complete synergy and collaboration between all sister organisations, an ITBP spokesman said.
One of the recipients of the award is Deepam Seth, the then Inspector General (IG), North West Frontier, who was a member of the Indian delegation for the 10 rounds of Senior Highest Military Commander (SHMC) level talks.
The extensive negotiations resulted in a breakthrough in February this year and the process of disengagement of troops from forward locations has been initiated.
The special operations of ITBP spread over a year and involved execution of strategic planning and ground operations. Besides this, it also included timely and adequate supplies of logistics to the forward location for troops.
Raised in 1962 during India-China war, the ITBP guards 3,488 km of the Himalayan borders. The force is known for its mountaineering skills and high altitude deployments in difficult borders and its border out posts are located at altitudes upto 18,800 feet.