New Delhi, Jun 24 (PTI) Army Chief Gen M M Naravane on Wednesday awarded 'Commendation Cards' to five Indian Army soldiers for displaying exemplary grit and courage in dealing with Chinese troops in two separate clashes in Pangong lake and Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh, official sources said.
The soldiers were conferred the award at a forward location in eastern Ladakh.
Gen Naravane is on a two-day visit to Ladakh to take stock of the military preparedness in the wake of escalating tension with China following last week's Galwan Valley clashes that left 20 Indian Army personnel dead and 76 injured.
Five soldiers were awarded 'Commendation Cards' by the Chief of Army Staff for valiantly fighting the Chinese troops during clashes with Chinese army in Pangong lake area and Galwan Valley, the sources said.
The commendation badges were pinned by the Army chief on soldiers involved in the June 15 incident at the Galwan Valley's Patrol Point 14.
The Army has not provided any details of the five soldiers or about their units.
While the Galwan Valley clashes took place on June 15, the violent face-off in Pangong Tso happened on May 5.
The sources said majority of the soldiers awarded showed 'great courage' in punishing the Chinese troops during the Galwan Valley clash for their brutal attack on Indian soldiers.
The Chinese soldiers used stones, nail-studded sticks, iron rods and clubs in carrying out brutal attacks on Indian soldiers after they protested the erection of a surveillance post by China on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control in Galwan.
In the clashes in Pangong Tso, the Indian troops had put up a stiff fight in dealing with the Chinese troops.
The situation in eastern Ladakh deteriorated after the Pangong Tso face-off involving around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers. The incident in Pangong Tso was followed by a similar incident in north Sikkim on May 9.
'Whenever the Chief of the Army Staff visits formations or units, it is a norm to award Commendation Cards to personnel who exhibit exceptional devotion to duty. In the instant case also, personnel have been awarded for devotion to duty,' said a source.
On the second day of his visit to Ladakh, Gen Naravane on Wednesday took stock of the Army's combat preparedness in four forward areas and interacted with soldiers deployed there.
The Army Chief's visit to the region came in the midst of China rapidly increasing number of troops and weaponry along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the eastern Ladakh region including in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley and Gogra Hot Spring.
The Army Chief reviewed the overall security situation in the region with Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Yogesh Kumar Joshi, commander of the 14 Corps Lt Gen Harinder Singh and other senior Army officials on both Tuesday and Wednesday, the sources said. PTI MPB RT