A satellite image taken over Galwan Valley in Ladakh. (Credits: Reuters)
NEW DELHI: A violent physical clash between India-China border troops on June 15 in Galwan Valley resulted in the death of at least 20 Indian soldiers and left several others battling for life. While there are no confirmed number of deaths on the Chinese side, however, the External Affairs Ministry said both sides suffered casualties.
Here are the latest developments:
* Defence minister Rajnath Singh held a meeting with 3 Service Chiefs (Army, Navy & Air Force) and the Chief of Defence Staff. He also spoke to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on the current situation, reported ANI.
* The 21-year-old Sepoy Ankush Thakur of the Punjab Regiment was martyred in the June 15 clash. A resident of Karohta, a village in Bhoranj subdivision, his father and grandfather had also served in the Indian Army. Thakur has a younger brother who is studying in class six.
* Commanding Officer of the Chinese Unit involved in the face-off with Indian troops in the Galwan Valley among those killed, reported ANI.
* The United States on Tuesday said it is "closely monitoring" the situation between India and China. "Both India and China have expressed a desire to de-escalate, and we support a peaceful resolution of the current situation," a State Department spokesperson said. Offering condolences for casualties of Indian soldiers, the spokesperson further said, "During their phone call on June 2, 2020, President Trump and Prime Minister Modi discussed the situation on the India-China border."
* United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed concern on the reports of violent clashes between India and China on Line of Actual Control and urged both sides to exercise maximum restraint. Eri Kaneko, Associate Spokesperson of Guterres, said,"We take positive note of reports that the two countries have engaged to deescalate the situation."
* Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi is "silent" on the fierce clash between Indian and Chinese troops. "Why is the PM silent? Why is he hiding? Enough is enough. We need to know what has happened," Gandhi said on Twitter. "How dare China kill our soldiers? How dare they take our land?" he said.
* Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy has announced a solatium of Rs 20 lakh to the family of the soldier, who lost his life in the border skirmish between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Ladakh. the Chief Minister stated one of the family members of the slain soldier K Palani who belonged to Ramanathapuram district will be offered a government job. Palaniswamy has also expressed condolences to the bereaved family. DMK president MK Stalin also condoled the death of the jawan.
What happened on the night of June 15
Indian authorities said that while the de-escalation process was underway, a violent face-off took place on June 15 night between Indian and Chinese troops leading to the death of 20 Indian soldiers.
"As part of efforts to talk to the Chinese side to honour their commitment made during the June 6 talks, 16 Bihar Commanding Officer Colonel Santosh, initiated talks with the Chinese side, asking them to go back further into their territory," sources told ANI.
During the talks, the Chinese side started heated arguments with the Indian delegation and started an attack on the Indian side with stones, sticks with spikes and other sharp-edged tools with an intention to cause fatalities to the Indian side, they said.
Tensions are high at Line of Actual Control since last month when India inaugurated a critical road construction project north of Pangong Tso.
The inauguration irked China despite the fact that the road was well within the Indian territory and far from the Chinese claim
In the statement, Zhang demanded that the Indian military strictly restrain its frontline troops, immediately stop all "provocative" actions and work with the Chinese side towards the same goal.
"The sovereignty over the Galwan Valley area has always belonged to China," said Zhang in the statement.
(With inputs from agencies)