India-China Armies Border Clash in Ladakh: Indian Army has lost at least 20 soldiers, including a Lt Colonel officer, in last night’s border clash with Chinese Army. Earlier in the day, Indian Army had reported that a Commanding Officer and 2 soldiers were killed in the border clash with the PLA but late in the evening it added 17 more soldiers in its death tally as many more bodies were recovered from a river on the line of actual countrol between the two countries.
“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,” sources in the Indian Army said.
Talking about the present situation, the Indian Army said troops from both the sides have been disengaged.
“Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged at the Galwan area where they had earlier clashed on the night of 15/16 June 2020,” it said.
“Indian Army is firmly committed to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation.”
Earlier, Indian Army had reported that three of its soldiers, one officer and two Jawans, were killed in a violent face off with the soldiers of Chinese Army (PLA) in the Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh region where the two armies have been in a tense stand-off with each other for over a month.
While the Indian Army has confirmed the casualty figure, Chinese Army and China’s Foreign Ministry are silent on the number of casualties on their side but the Chinese Communist Party’s mouth-piece Global Times confirmed the loss of lives of PLA soldiers without giving the exact number of casualties.
These are the first casualties on disputed India-China border in the last forty-five years, and it has come as a rude shock as both the armies were in a symbolic disengagement mode following a meeting of their top commanders last week.
A senior Chinese journalist also confirmed casualties on both sides on his Twitter handle.
“Based on what I know, Chinese side also suffered casualties in the Galwan Valley physical clash,” said Hu Xijin, editor in chief of Chinese and English editions of Global Times on his twitter handle.
“I want to tell the Indian side, don’t be arrogant and misread China’s restraint as being weak,” he said.
The top editor of Global Times, which is considered a mouth-piece of Chinese ruling elite, also warned India that his country doesn’t fear a clash with India.
“China doesn’t want to have a clash with India, but we don’t fear it,” Hu Xijin added.
I want to tell the Indian side, don’t be arrogant and misread China’s restraint as being weak. China doesn’t want to have a clash with India, but we don’t fear it.
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) June 16, 2020
Earlier, some reports claimed that five PLA soldiers were killed and 11 were injured in the last night clash with the Indian Army. However, the Global Times refused to confirm the number of casualties on the Chinese side.
“The official Global Times accounts have NEVER reported the exact casualties on the Chinese side,” the publication said on its twitter handle.
The official Global Times accounts have NEVER reported the exact casualties on the Chinese side. The Global Times CANNOT confirm the number at the moment.
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) June 16, 2020
“The Global Times CANNOT confirm the number at the moment,” it added.
Recent India-China Border Stand-off in Ladakh
Early last month, videos of violent physical clashes between the soldiers of two armies in Eastern Ladakh region have surfaced. It underscored the tense situation, following which both the sides moved in heavy weapons and reinforcements.
But the situation started to diffuse following a meeting of top commanders of both the armies last week.
As earlier reported by Defence Star, PLA troops and infantry combat vehicles had moved back by 2.5 kilometers in Galwan area, patrolling point 15 and hot springs area following a meeting between Indian Army’s Lt General Harinder Singh and Major General Lin Liu of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on June 8.
As a reciprocal measure, Indian Army had also pulled back its troops and vehicles in a symbolic disengagement.
The meeting of these two army commanders was followed by divisional level commanders but last night’s clash has come as a big setback to these confidence building measures.
While in India, defence minister Rajnath Sing held meeting with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and three services chiefs, according to the reports, Chinese side was also engaged in its internal discussion following the last night’s violent clashes at India China border.