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India- China violent face-off in Galwan Valley: Indian, Chinese troops disengage, 20 Indian soldiers martyred

The number of martyred on the Indian side include 17 soldiers who had been critically injured during the clash and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain.

Jun 17, 2020 10:14 IST
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The Indian and Chinese troops finally disengaged on June 16, 2020 at the Galwan valley in Ladakh where they had clashed the earlier night. The Indian Army confirmed that 20 Indian soldiers were martyred in the violent face-off that took place on the night of June 15 and 16. 

The number of martyred on the Indian side include 17 soldiers who had been critically injured during the clash and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain. Earlier in the day, the army had revealed that two soldiers and one Indian Army Officer had been killed in the clash. This takes the total number of casualties on Indian side to 20. 

The Indian Army also revealed that there have been 43 casualties on the Chinese side including the dead and the critically injured soldiers. 

What we know so far?

•  A violent face-off reportedly took place between Indian and Chinese troops at Galwan Valley in Ladakh on the night of June 15 during de-escalation process.

•  The clash was a result of an attempt by China to "unilaterally change" the status quo during de-escalation talks. India stated that the situation could have been avoided if the agreement at the higher level had been followed by the Chinese troops.

•  The Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava stated that the Chinese side had violated the consensus to respect the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan area.

•  Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held two review meetings in the national capital with the Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane over developments in Eastern Ladakh during the day. 

•  Major Generals of both India and China had also engaged in talks at Galwan Valley and other areas of Ladakh where the violent stand off took place in an attempt to defuse the tense situation.

The spokesperson for the UN Secretary General stated that they are concerned about the reports of violence and deaths at the Line of Actual Control and urged both sides to exercise maximum restraint. The UN spokesperson also took a positive note of the engagement of the two nations to deescalate the situation.

Significance

This unprecedented escalation at the border is the first between the two sides along the India- China border since 1975.

Background

India and China were conducting talks in Eastern Ladakh to resolve the tense border stand-off between the two sides over Chinese military buildup. 

According to Army sources, there was disengagement between Indian and Chinese troops at more locations where there was a border stand-off since April. 

The tense situation and build-up activity by both sides had somewhat toned down after June 6 talks between the military commanders of India and China. The meeting was followed by more round of talks.

The aggressive behaviour of the Chinese troops had also reportedly toned down and no incident of any violent face-off was reported between the troops after the disengagement talks had begun between the two armies.

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