On Monday night, during a “violent face-off” between India and China at Galwan valley in Ladakh, an Indian colonel and two soldiers were killed. The massive escalation with Chinese troops occurred after weeks of tensions at the border. The army said that India retaliated and there were casualties on both sides.
According to army sources, the soldiers were not shot but killed in a physical fight on Indian Territory including stones and batons. Since 1975, this is the first violent incident and to “defuse” the disturbing situation, military officials from India and China arte meeting.
The Indian army personnel were killed in Galwan Valley, high in the snow desert of Ladakh. Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met with the three service chiefs, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Foreign Minister S Jaishankar.
India and China both the nations have started disengagement from Galwan Valley, said Army Chief General MM Naravane. The army in an initial statement said, “During the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place yesterday night with casualties on both sides. The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers. Senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting at the venue to defuse the situation.”
However, later it revised its statement saying “casualties on both sides”. India was accused by China of crossing the border and “provoking and attacking Chinese personnel, resulting in serious physical confrontation between border forces on the two sides”.
“They provoked and attacked the Chinese side, leading to a severe physical brawl. China has lodged protests and representations to the Indian side,” said Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.
China is upset with the Indian construction of roads and air strips in the area. The government has pushed for improving connectivity and by 2022, aims to construct 66 key roads along the Chinese border.