The Rezang La monument symbolised the government’s stand of giving a befitting reply to anyone who threatened the sovereignty and integrity of the country, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday after inaugurating the revamped war memorial in eastern Ladakh.
“The renovation of the memorial is not only a tribute to our valiant armed forces, but also a symbol of the fact that we are fully prepared to protect the integrity of the nation,” he stated. The Battle of Rezang La was considered one of the 10 greatest and most challenging military conflicts in the world, he noted.
The memorial was constructed in 1963 in the Chushul plains, at an altitude of over 15,000 feet. The renovated complex includes a double-storied museum, a mini-theatre to screen a special documentary on the battle, a large helipad and various other tourist amenities.
It also includes the names of the Army personnel who lost their lives in the violent clash at Galwan last year.
November 18 marks the 59th anniversary of the Battle of Rezang La in which troops from the 13 Kumaon Regiment defeated several waves of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in 1962.
‘New chapter of bravery’
During the battle, 114 troops of the Charlie Company of 13 Kumaon lost their lives, the memorial read and Maj. Shaitan Singh was posthumously awarded Param Vir Chakra (PVC), the country’s highest wartime gallantry award. “Major Shaitan Singh and his fellow soldiers fought till ‘last bullet and last breath’ and wrote a new chapter of bravery and sacrifice,” Mr. Singh said.
In October 2020, the Army built a memorial at Post 120 in eastern Ladakh for the 20 personnel killed in the Galwan valley clash on June 15. Post 120 lies along the Darbuk Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) road.
Last August, tensions flared up on the south bank of Pangong Tso (lake) on the Kailash range. It also saw the firing of shots for the first time in decades. The stand-off in eastern Ladakh, which began last May, continues despite several rounds of diplomatic and military talks, with disengagement undertaken at Galwan, Pangong Tso and Gogra areas so far.