Army chief checks on troops injured in Galwan face-off
Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Tuesday met soldiers injured in the clash between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley during a visit to review the security situation in the sensitive sector, two officers said.
This is Naravane’s second visit to Leh, the headquarters of 14 Corps, since border tensions with China erupted last month. He earlier visited the area on May 22.
General Naravane drove straight to Leh’s military hospital, where the injured soldiers are under treatment, one of the officer cited above said. He inquired about their well-being and wished them a speedy recovery.
“General Naravane complimented all ranks for their high standard of professionalism and dedication to duty. He urged them to continue to discharge their duties with the same dedication and zeal,” an army spokesperson said.
Twenty Indian soldiers were killed and 76 injured, including 18 of them seriously, when Chinese troops attacked with nail-studded clubs and stones on June 15. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) suffered 43 casualties in the face-off, according to Indian officials, but Beijing has not confirmed the fatalities on its side.
During his two-day trip, Naravane will be briefed on the latest developments along the disputed border and the progress of military talks with China. Senior Indian and Chinese commanders met on Monday at Moldo on China’s side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The meeting, which focussed on cooling tensions, and thinning military build-up on both sides of the border, lasted for almost 11 hours.
The Indian side is demanding the withdrawal of Chinese troops from the Finger Area on the north bank of Pangong Tso Lake and also the removal of bunkers, pillboxes, and observation posts that PLA has set up there, as reported by HT on Tuesday.
India is also pressing for the restoration of status quo ante in key strategic areas including the Gogra Post-Hot Springs sector and the Galwan Valley.
Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria last week made a low-key visit to Ladakh to review the Indian Air Force’s preparedness in the sector. Apart from Sukhoi-30s and upgraded MiG-29 fighter jets, the IAF is operating Apache AH-64E attack helicopters and CH-47F (I) Chinook multi-mission helicopters--both imported from the US -- in Ladakh.
The current situation along LAC marks the first major flare-up since the 73-day standoff between India and China at Doklam near the Sikkim border in 2017.