Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviews Ladakh situation after face-off between India...

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Home / India News / Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviews Ladakh situation after face-off between India and China

Defence minister Rajnath Singh reviewed current operational situation in the Eastern Ladakh region after an incident of violent face-off between Indian and Chinese soldiers.

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, three service chiefs - General MM Naravane, Admiral Karambir Singh and Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria - discussed the situation with Singh. Foreign minister S Jaishankar was also present in the meeting.

The Indian Army said that there were casualties on both sides in the incident which took place in the Galwan valley on Monday night. HT has learned that the commanding officer of the unit involved in the scrap, and a JCO are among those killed.

These are the first Indian casualties in a clash with the PLA since 1975 when an Indian patrol was ambushed by Chinese troops in Arunachal Pradesh.

The army said the incident took place at a time the “de-escalation process was underway”.

It also said that senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting to defuse the situation.

All the deaths are from thrown stones and rods that were used by the soldiers, people familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity. The army did not comment on this.

Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry, spoke about the close communication through military and diplomatic channels before going on to blame Indian soldiers for Monday evening’s violent exchange.

“Our border troops had a high-level meeting and reached important consensus on easing the border situation. But astonishingly on June 15, the 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,” Zhao said.

India and China are engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation along the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh for the last five weeks. It began with a confrontation between rival patrols near Pangong Tso on the night of May 5-6.

In their first serious efforts to end the row, Lt General Harinder Singh, the general officer commanding of Leh-based 14 Corps, and Commander of the Tibet Military District Maj Gen Liu Lin held a nearly seven-hour meeting on June 6.

The meeting was followed by more rounds of military talks. The Indian side has been pitching for restoration of status quo ante and immediate withdrawal of thousands of Chinese troops from the areas which India considers on its side of the LAC.

Army chief General Naravane last week said disengagement of Indian and Chinese forces was taking place in a “phased manner” along the LAC where the situation was “under control”.

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