No soldiers missing after Galwan Valley clash, says Indian Army
The Indian Army on Thursday rubbished media reports that claimed several soldiers had gone missing after the June 15 violent clash with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed and China also purportedly suffered casualties.
“It is clarified that no Indian troops are missing in action,” the army said in a brief statement.
An army spokesperson said the statement was in reference to the article, “In China-India Clash, Two Nationalist Leaders with Little Room to Give”, published by the New York Times on Wednesday.
Some sections of the Indian media had also reported that several Indian troops had gone missing or were unaccounted for.
The statement came on a day Indian and Chinese delegations, led by major general-ranked officers, met in eastern Ladakh to defuse mounting tensions between the border troops.
This was their seventh meeting after the current border stand-off began and the third after the brutal Galwan Valley clash.
Major General Abhijit Bapat, commander of the Karu-based HQs 3 Infantry Division, and his Chinese counterpart held talks at the site of the clash near Patrol Point 14, where the Indian Army suffered its first casualties in a border skirmish with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in 45 years.
In October 1975, Chinese troops had ambushed an Indian patrol in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tulung La sector and shot four soldiers dead.
The June 15 clash left 76 Indian soldiers injured, including 18 with serious injuries, officials said adding that all of them were stable now.
The troops have since disengaged, the Indian Army said in a statement on Tuesday, confirming the number of dead at 20.
Indian Army officials claimed 43 Chinese were killed or seriously injured, citing radio intercepts and other intelligence.
The Chinese fatal casualties reportedly include a colonel-ranked officer, but HT couldn’t independently verify this.
The June 15 brawl has virtually derailed the de-escalation plans worked out by senior Indian and Chinese military commanders in a rare meeting on June 6.