DHARAMSALA, 17 June: The ongoing border tensions between India and China since early-May has resulted in casualties on both sides in spite of the tow sides holding talks and agreeing to “peacefully resolve” the border face-off earlier on 6 June.
The standoff between the two Asian giants in the Galwan valley region in eastern Ladakh has left twenty Indian soldiers death, including a Colonel and while several others were left grievously injured in a violent physical skirmish on Monday, media reports said citing sources from the Indian army.
The army has stated in a statement that “17 critically injured Indian troops succumbed to their wounds, in addition to an officer and two soldiers who had died earlier.”
“Furious hand-to-hand fighting raged across the Galwan river valley for over eight hours on Monday night, as People’s Liberation Army assault teams armed with iron rods as well as batons wrapped in barbed wire hunted down and slaughtered troops of the 16 Bihar Regiment,” News18 reported citing a senior government official familiar with the development.
Though the Chinese have kept num so far on the numbers of casualties the PLA suffered, the Indian Army has claimed that over 40 PLA soldiers may also have been killed or injured citing intercepted military communication.
Meanwhile, the US Intelligence believes that 35 Chinese troops died, including one senior officer following the violent skirmish.
While both the sides said in unison that no bullets were fired in the latest skirmish, China and India have accused each other of provoking the fight.
It was reported that the fighting at Galwan started after Indian troops dismantled a Chinese tent sent up close to the mouth of the Galwan river.
“The tent had been dismantled following a meeting between Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, who commands the Leh-based XIV Corps, and Major-General Lin Liu, the head of the Xinjiang military district,” the report added.
It marked the Indian Army’s heaviest casualties since the 1999 Kargil war, and the most intense fighting between the two parties since 1967, where 88 Indian soldiers and as many as 340 PLA troops were killed in the course of intense fights near the Nathu La and Cho La passes, the report added.