Face-off between India and China in Galwan valley: Here’s what we know
An army statement issued on Tuesday evening also said the Indian and Chinese troops at the Galwan area where they had earlier clashed “have disengaged”.
Twenty Indian soldiers were killed on Monday evening in a clash with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan valley where troops from the two countries have been locked in a face-off for 40 days, people familiar with the development told Hindustan Times.
The encounter happened along the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh where rival soldiers were caught in stand-off that began with a confrontation between rival patrols near Pangong Tso on the night of May 5-6.
Here is what we know so far:
• The Indian casualties include a commanding officer of an infantry battalion.
• The Indian Army, in its initial statement early on Tuesday, had announced that an officer and two soldiers had been killed in action. However, by evening, an update said 17 Indian troops who were critically injured in the line of duty at the stand -off location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high-altitude terrain had succumbed to injuries.
•The army statement issued on Tuesday evening also said the Indian and Chinese troops at the Galwan area where they had earlier clashed “have disengaged”.
•The Chinese army also suffered casualties in the face-off but there was no immediate confirmation of the numbers.
•India said Monday’s violent clash happened when the Chinese side “departed from the consensus to respect the LAC (Line of Actual Control) and attempted to “unilaterally change the status quo”.
•Hindustan Times has learnt rival soldiers exchanged blows, threw stones at each other and Chinese troops even attacked Indian soldiers with rods and nail-studded clubs during the brawl that went on for over six hours.
• Defence minister Rajnath Singh briefed Prime Minister Modi on the developments at the LAC after holding two meetings with Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs. The external affairs minister S Jaishankar was also present in one of these meetings.
• Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane cancelled a scheduled visit to Pathankot on Tuesday.
• This is the first casualties for India in a clash with the PLA since 1975 when an Indian patrol was ambushed by Chinese troops in Arunachal Pradesh.
• The Chinese foreign ministry has called on India to not take unilateral actions or stir up trouble, news agency Reuters reported.
• India and China have been locked in a stand-off in the Ladakh region for weeks.