NEW DELHI: India and China are slated to hold another round of talks at the major general-level in the Galwan Valley region of eastern Ladakh on Friday after the 10
held captive by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) were released on Thursday evening.
The talks between Leh-based 3 Infantry Division commander
Major General Abhijit Bapat
and his PLA counterpart on Thursday had led to the release of the 10 soldiers, including four officers, who were taken captive during the bloody skirmish in the area on June 15.
Twenty Indian soldiers, including Colonel B Santosh Babu, the commanding officer of 16
, were killed in the prolonged skirmish with the PLA soldiers armed with nail-studded rods and stones near “Patrolling Point-14 (PP-14)” in the Galwan Valley region, which began in the evening on June 15 and went on till well past midnight.
Since then, India had held three rounds of major general-level talks for the safe release of the 10 Indian soldiers. “The soldiers, who were finally released on Thursday, have been medically examined and are being debriefed,” said a source.
The June 15 clash had erupted when PLA soldiers, who after initially pulling back a little in consonance with the de-escalation plan finalized by the rival commanders, returned to erect a “temporary post” in the shape of tents near PP-14.
Col Babu and two other soldiers died on the spot after being attacked by PLA soldiers, who were in far
, while the 17 other jawans later succumbed to their injuries. Eighteen other soldiers with serious injuries are currently admitted in the military hospital at Leh, while 58 sustained minor injuries in the clash.
China has kept silent about the number of its own casualties. But radio intercepts and other intelligence indicate that there were 43 “casualties” in the PLA ranks, which included both the dead and grievously injured. Two PLA officers are said to be among the dead in the Chinese ranks.