Colonel Santosh Babu, martyred in a fierce clash with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh last year, has been posthumously honoured with Maha Vir Chakra on the occasion of Republic Day. He was among the 20 Indian soldiers killed in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh during the clash with Chinese troops in first such incident involving fatalities after a gap of 45 years.
Santosh commanded the 16 Bihar Regiment. An alumnus of Sainik School in Korukonda and the National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla, he was commissioned into the Bihar Regiment from Indian Military Academy, Dehradun and went on to complete the prestigious Defence Service Staff Course from Wellington before taking over the command of his battalion.
Five others including Nb Sub Nuduram Soren, Hav K Palani, Hav Tejinder Singh and Nk Deepak Singh Sep Gurtej Singh who lost their lives in the Galwan valley clash, have also been awarded the Chakra series wartime gallantry medals posthumously.
Subedar Sanjeev Kumar has been awarded the second-highest peacetime gallantry award Kirti Chakra posthumously for eliminating one terrorist and injuring two others in an operation in Jammu and Kashmir on April 4, 2020.
Major Anuj Sood, who lost his life in an encounter with terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir in May 2020, has been awarded Shaurya Chakra posthumously.