Galwan Valley region of eastern Ladakh witnessed killing of twenty Indian soldiers along with several others being injured in a violent physical stand-off with the Chinese troops on Monday.
This was an extension of the massive military confrontation building up across the Indo-China border since early May, though there was no firing from either side.
In the first clash since 1975 between India and China with fatalities, over 20 Indian soldiers were martyred including a colonel. China suffered 43 casualties in the clash, as per the US intelligence reports.
Timeline of the physical skirmish
Clash is said to be triggered by the Chinese troops who came to erect a post on Indian side and were then challenged by the Indian troops present.
On Monday evening there was a scuffle that stretched on till midnight.
Indian casualties included Col Babu, Havildar K Palani and sepoy Kundan Kumar Ojha. The others later died due to injuries and hypothermia.
The tension across the border is the result of China attempting to unilaterally changer the status quo in the region in Ladakh.
Following a clash at Pangong Lake, the troops from both countries have been active along the LAC (Line of Actual Control) since May 5 2020.
India Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on the Ladakh face-off that if instigated India can give a befitting reply. He said that the sacrifice of Indian soldiers will not go in vain.
India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Tuesday, “India and China have been discussing through military and diplomatic channels the de-escalation of the situation in the border area in Eastern Ladakh. 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.”
In a statement Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday, “Indian troops seriously violated our consensus and twice crossed the border line for illegal activities and provoked and attacked Chinese personnel which led to serious physical conflict between the two sides.”
China has however not commented on the number of casualties from their side.