18 soldiers injured in Galwan Valley face-off stable: Latest developments
The tension along the contested areas of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has been continuing despite several rounds of meeting between Indian and Chinese officials.
A meeting was held on Thursday to defuse the situation after the skirmish at Galwan Valley on June 15 in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed. This was the seventh meeting since the stand-off began in May and third since the Monday night clash.
Here are the latest developments in the India-China border stand-off:
• India on Thursday asked China to restrict its activities to its side of the Line of Actual Control - a significant move following external affairs minister S Jaishankar’s assertion during a phone conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Wednesday, that Chinese troops entered the Indian side in Galwan Valley and sought to erect a structure.
• The Indian Army has said that no soldier was “missing in action” after the violent brawl of June 15, in which the Chinese side also purportedly suffered casualties. “It is clarified that there are no Indian troops missing in action,” the army said in a terse statement, responding to reports that some troops were unaccounted for after the seven-hour clash that involved more than 500 rival troops.
• The brawl left 76 Indian soldiers injured, including 18 with serious injuries who are now said to be stable. News agency PTI reported that 18 personnel are undergoing treatment at a hospital in Leh while 58 are admitted to various other hospitals.
• India has rubbished Chinese claims of sovereignty over Galwan Valley where the incident took place.
• Late on Thursday, people aware of the development indicated that 10 soldiers, including two officers, were released by the Chinese side. Official word on this development was awaited.
• Indian and Chinese delegations, led by major generals, met on Thursday near Patrol Point 14 in Galwan Valley as part of military engagements to defuse tensions on the disputed border. “The two sides had a long discussion on the border situation after the clash. They agreed to hold more talks in the coming days. These talks will be held at different levels,” an Indian Army official said on condition of anonymity.
• Thousands attended funerals on Thursday for many of the 20 Indian soldiers killed in the clash.
• The two armies were engaged in a standoff in Galwan and several other areas of eastern Ladakh since May 5 when the two sides clashed on the banks of the Pangong Tso.
• The trigger for the face-off was China’s stiff opposition to India laying a key road around the Pangong Tso Lake besides construction of another road connecting the Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Beg Oldie road in Galwan Valley. India has already decided not to stall any border infrastructure projects in eastern Ladakh despite Chinese protests.
• The last time the Chinese military had taken Indian soldiers captive was in July 1962 after a clash in Galwan Valley.