‘No formal inquiry into Galwan Valley clash’: Government denies report
China has not carried out pull back as agreed to in meetings with senior military commanders from both sides.Updated: Aug 11, 2020 18:08 IST
The government of India has rejected reports that the Indian Army had conducted a formal inquiry into the June 15 clashes with Chinese soldiers at Galwan Valley and a report following the probe had been submitted. A denial issued by the government’s press information bureau on Tuesday afternoon categorically stated that “no no such inquiry has been conducted or ordered by the Indian Army”.
20 Indian soldiers had died along with an unknown number of casualties in the People’s Liberation of Army (PLA) when Indian soldiers’ objections to Chinese attempts to erect a structure on the Indian side of the disputed Line of Actual Control resulted in an attack by their Chinese counterparts in the eastern Ladakh sector.
Earlier today, there were reports that “a formal Court of Inquiry (CoI) had been conducted by senior officers headed by 15 Corp Commander, Lt. Gen BS Raju, “into the standoff at Galwan, orders that preceded the incident and as well as actions taken by troops after they came under attack by the PLA while verifying the disengagement process”.
The report further claimed that further action is now awaited after the submission of the report. It also quoted sources to say that the inquiry was “necessary” to evaluate if standing operating orders need to be “modified” to prevent a repeat of the incident.
Following the clash, which involved use of rudimentary weapons such as wired clubs and stones due to an existing agreement between the two countries banning the use of firearms by patrolling troops, it was reported that the government had given the armed forces complete operational freedom to defend the country’s territorial integrity.
Since the bloody conflict on June 15, India and China have engaged in several rounds of diplomatic and military talks for disengagement and de-escalation of troops from the confrontation areas, however, China continues to drag its feet in vacating some strategic areas India considers part of its own territory.
Considering China’s reluctance, top Indian military brass has told a Parliamentary panel that the forces were ready for a long haul with deployment in forward areas of the LAC during harsh winter months to not counter Chinese aggression.
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat led armed forces leadership has said that the de-escalation between the two sides may take a longer time but the Indian side was ready for any eventuality and have made arrangements for it in the Ladakh sector, officials have said.
The Chinese have brought in more than 40,000 troops and have been maintaining that strength since April-May timeframe.
India is also well-prepared and has asked China to disengage from friction points and Depsang Plains and has built up heavily to counter any further Chinese misadventure there.
The officials said that the Indian Army has moved in around two additional divisions in the Ladakh sector where already two formations are deployed for guarding against both Pakistan and China.