20 Indian Army Men Killed In Galwan Valley Clash With Chinese, Army Says
“Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged at the Galwan area where they had earlier clashed on the night of 15/16 June 2020. 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. Indian Army is firmly committed to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation,” an Army statement said.
An official statement earlier on Tuesday said that "Senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting at the venue to defuse the situation".
Army statement says 17 of 20 soldiers dead were critically injured in line of duty at stand-off location, exposed to sub-zero temperatures— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) June 16, 2020
A statement from MEA spokesperson, Anurag Srivastava, said: " India and China have been discussing through military and diplomatic channels the de-escalation of the situation in the border area in Eastern Ladakh. Senior Commanders had a productive meeting on 6th June 2020 and agreed on a process for such de-escalation. Subsequently, ground commanders had a series of meetings to implement the consensus reached at a higher level.
"While it was our expectation that this would unfold smoothly, the Chinese side departed from the consensus to respect the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan Valley. On the late-evening and night of 15th June, 2020 a violent face-off happened as a result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo there. Both sides suffered casualties that could have been avoided had the agreement at the higher level been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side.
Anguished over the martyrdom of Col Santhosh Babu, Commanding Officer, 16th Bihar Battalion & other brave soldiers in the face-off with Chinese troops at #GalwanValley in Ladakh. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family members.— YS Jagan Mohan Reddy (@ysjagan) June 16, 2020
"Given its responsible approach to border management, India is very clear that all its activities are always within the Indian side of the LAC. We expect the same of the Chinese side. We remain firmly convinced of the need for the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas and the resolution of differences through dialogue. At the same time, we are also strongly committed to ensuring India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity", the MEA statement added. While China has not released any figures of its casualties, the Editor-in-chief of the Chinese and English editions of the pro-Beijing Global Times, Hu Xijin, tweeted that China had not released any figures 'to avoid stoking public mood'.
The clashes in the Galwan Valley, which occurred off the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh, emanated from a stand-off between Indian and Chinese patrols near Pangong Tso back in the first week of May. This is the first time since 1975 that Indian soldiers have lost their lives in a combat situation with the Chinese. In the October of that year, four jawans of the Assam Rifles were killed in an ambush by the PLA at Tulung La in Arunachal Pradesh.
Chinese side didn’t release number of PLA casualties in clash with Indian soldiers. My understanding is the Chinese side doesn’t want people of the two countries to compare the casualties number so to avoid stoking public mood. This is goodwill from Beijing.— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) June 16, 2020