Following the current rising tensions, China and India came to a flash-point again as first deadly border clash took place after 45 Years.
Military Personnel from Indian side clashed with Troops of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China at Midnight on Monday 15th June in Galwan Valley, high in the snow desert of Ladakh.
The clash took place at a time efforts were being made to resolve the 40 day standoff between both forces in Ladakh.
An Indian Army Spokesperson issued the following statement soon after :
“During the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place yesterday night with casualties. The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers.”
Initially 3 Soldiers were reported as killed, including A Colonel-Ranked Army Officer. Soon the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the PLA’s Western Command gave out statements while accusing the Indian Army for constantly crossing the Line of Actual Control.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that China had lodged “solemn representations against Indian military’s border crossing and proactive actions, which led to serious clashes on Monday. China urges the Indian side to restrain its troops in accordance with the consensus.”
Chinese Military Spokesperson said on Tuesday that Indian troops have again crossed the line of actual control in the Galwan Valley and purposely launched provocative attacks. No gun fight was reported as stones and batons were used.
“There was no firing. No firearms were used. It was violent hand-to-hand scuffles,” an unnamed officer was quoted by news agency Agence France Presse as saying.
China has not reported or confirmed any casualties except the only admission of casualties on the Chinese side so far came from Hu Xijin the Editor in Chief of State Run ‘Global Times’.
More casualties are now being reported on the Indian Side as their Military issued an updated statement :
“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 have succumbed to their injuries, taking the total that were killed in action to 20.”
These are the first casualties at the India-China border in 45 years, since 1975, when four soldiers will killed in a Chinese ambush 500 metres south of Tulung La. In 1967, in a clash in Sikkim, 80 Indian soldiers and 400 Chinese soldiers are estimated to have been killed.
After weeks of face-off including an incident in which patrolling soldiers clashed on the banks of Pangong Lake, resulting in injuries, friction eased following talks. High Officials from both side are still said to be in contact.