An aerial view of the region in Galwan Valley where Indian troops clashed with the Chinese
NEW DELHI: On the evening of June 15, the Indian 3 Infantry Division Commander with other senior officers was at an Indian post near the Y-junction of Shyok and Galwan rivers in the eastern Ladakh sector as talks were to be held between the two countries.
The Indian security forces including the 16 Bihar Regiment were asked to ensure that the post was removed by the Chinese after which a small patrol was sent to convey the message, sources told ANI.
The Chinese observation post was manned by 10-12 soldiers who were told by the Indian patrol to go away from there as was agreed upon in the senior level military talks between the two armies. The Chinese refused to do so even as the Indian patrol returned to their unit to inform them about the development.
This was when the Indian troops with around 50 people and 16 Bihar Commanding Officer Colonel Santosh Babu in the lead, went on to tell the Chinese to go back further in their territory as they were on Indian soil.
Meanwhile, by the time the first Indian patrol returned from the site, the Chinese had called for reinforcements from their rear positions in the Galwan river valley who came with around 300-350 people.
As the Indian patrol reached, the sources said, the Chinese had already built up troops on higher ground around the observation post and kept the stones and weapons ready for launching an attack on the Indian troops.
As the two sides started talking, the discussion turned into a heated one and the Indian side started uprooting their tents and equipment. The Chinese, who had already prepared themselves for aggression against Indian troops, attacked the Indian side in which their first attack was on the 16 Bihar CO and Havildar Palani. After the CO went down, the Biharis lost control and started attacking the Chinese ferociously despite being heavily outnumbered and stones raining from the higher ground.
The fight went on for over three hours till late in the night in which several Chinese troops were either dead or injured seriously.
Next morning, when the situation calmed down relatively, the dead bodies of the Chinese troops were lying in the open and was handed over to them by Indian troops, sources said.
A total of around 100 troops took part in the operations from the Indian side while the Chinese had over 350 people on the location.
However, the Bihari troops had managed to uproot the Chinese position there at the Patrolling Point 14.
Soon after the incident, the Chinese reinforced their positions near that location and have their offensive forces ready in the rear locations.
Sources said that even though outnumbered, the Biharis managed to remove the Chinese post which was existing there in violation of the agreements between the two sides.
Now the Indian and Chinese Lieutenant General level talks are being planned in the next few days in the Eastern Ladakh area to defuse the situation further on PP-14, PP-15 and PP-17A.