Colonel, 2 Indian soldiers martyred in clash with PLA
Ladakh : The Indian Army suffered many casualties, including one colonel, in a “violent face-off” with the PLA on Monday night in eastern Ladakh, the army said in a statement. It mentioned that the casualties were on both sides.
Since 1975, these are the first casualties reported in a clash with the PLA.
According to a news report, the martyred officer is the commanding officer of the unit involved in the scrap, and that one of the other casualties is that of a JCO.
The incident took place at a time when de-escalation process was “underway in the Galwan valley”.
“Senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting to defuse the situation”, the army said, signalling that the efforts to stabilise the situation are still work in progress.
Military commanders of the two armies, Major General Abhijit Bapat, commander of the Karu-based HQs 3 Infantry Division and his Chinese counterpart are holding talks at the site of the clash to defuse tensions.
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.
China’s foreign ministry said it wasn’t aware of fatalities on either side.
Zhao Lijian, a 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 borderline for illegal activities and provoked and attacked Chinese personnel which led to serious physical conflict between the two sides,’’ Zhao said.