New Delhi: Eighteen personnel of the India-China LAC guarding force Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have been decorated with various police service medals including gallantry decorations on the eve of Republic Day.

A notification issued by the Union home ministry on Tuesday stated that three personnel have been awarded the police medal for gallantry (PMG), three with the president’s police medal for distinguished service and 12 with the police medal for meritorious service.

The PMG has been given to the team of Assistant Commandant Ashok Kumar, Inspectors Suresh Lal and Neela Singh for neutralising two wanted Maoists during a fierce encounter in the left wing extremism-affected area of Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon district in February, 2018. A huge assortment of arms and ammunition was also recovered after the operation.

Among the distinguished service medal awardees is deputy inspector general (DIG) Ajay Pal Singh who joined the mountain-warfare trained force as an officer in 1990.

Singh is currently posted at the ITBP officers’ training academy in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand. He has served three tenures along the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh as well as counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir apart from various training units of the force.

He has also served in the ITBP operations directorate at the force headquarters in Delhi and has been instrumental in bringing out the first-ever ITBP history book that was unveiled last year.

DIGs Ramakant Sharma and G C Upadhyay have also been awarded the distinguished service medal.

The about 90,000 personnel strong ITBP was raised in the aftermath of the 1962 India-China war and it is primarily tasked to guard the 3,488 km long Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China apart from rendering a variety of duties in the internal security domain of the country.

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