Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in a face-off with Chinese soldiers at the border on Monday night. Initially, the Indian Army had put the number at three, but in an update on Tuesday evening, it said that 17 soldiers who were wounded in the clashes succumbed to injuries.
The face-off has been going on for weeks. It began near the Pagong Lake in Ladakh on May 5-6.
This is the first deadly conflict between India and China in at least 45 years. Around 43 Chinese soldiers have been injured in the violent face-off, pushing the bilateral relationship between the two nuclear powers to an all-time low.
Here are the latest developments on the India-China face-off:
• The United States has said that it is “closely monitoring” the after the clashes between Indian and Chinese soldiers in eastern Ladakh. A senior State Department official said he hopes that the differences will be resolved peacefully.
• The army has said that both Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged from the Galwan valley area where the clashes took place. Senior military officers had held talks in the area to defuse the situation.
• In a statement, the army had said that it is firmly committed to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation.
• The External Affairs Ministry said the violent face-off was the result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo in the region. Officials later said it could be a reference to an observation post set up by the Chinese troops on the Indian side of the LAC that was removed by Indian soldiers.
• The officer killed in the clash is Colonel Santosh Babu, Commanding Officer of the 16 Bihar regiment.
• These are the first Indian casualties in a border skirmish with the People’s Liberation Army since October 1975 when Chinese troops ambushed an Indian patrol in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tulung La sector and shot four soldiers dead. However, no shots were fired this time.
• Hindustan Times has learnt rival soldiers exchanged blows, threw stones at each other and Chinese troops even attacked Indian soldiers with rods and nail-studded clubs. The brawl went on for over six hours.
• Defence minister Rajnath Singh briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the developments along the Line of Control (LAC) on Tuesday evening and also held two meetings with chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs to assess the ground situation and review options.
• The situation remains tense at Pangong, which has been at the centre of the ongoing border scrap and where troops are still locked in a face-off.