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India-China face-off: Second Major General-level talks at Galwan valley

A satellite picture taken over Galwan valley in Ladakh (Photo courtesy: Reuters)

The second Major General-level talks is underway at Galwan valley in eastern Ladakh where an unprecedented violent clash took place on Monday night between the Indian Army soldiers and Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops resulting in fatalities.

Today’s talks come a day after Indian and Chinese military dialogue over the violent clash along the Line of Actual Control ended in a stalemate on Wednesday. The three-hour dialogue remained inconclusive at the end of the day but will continue.

The dialogue took place to ensure that Chinese People’s Liberation Army pulls back all its troops from the Galwan Valley and removed all the military-grade tents which house them.

Both the forces have redeployed troops at the site of the clash. Sources said that India Army officials have made clear to Chinese counterparts that they have to move back.

Major Gen. Abhijit Bapat, who is the Commander of the Indian Army’s 3 Division, raised several points with the Chinese officers with regards to the incident on the intervening night of June 15/16.

The unprecedented violent face-off with Chinese troops at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday night has claimed the lives of 20 Indian Armymen including officers.

As per reports, around 120 Indian soldiers were trapped and encircled by Chinese troops and thereafter savagely beaten, many to the point of mutilation, on Monday night.

Pointing firearms at them, Chinese troops brutally tortured Indian soldiers to death, sources said. Many Indian soldiers were helpless with the Indian government’s direction not to use firearms, sources said. It was not a hand-to-hand fight between the forces, said sources, adding that PLA troops completely overran the Indian soldiers, who started losing their lives as they bravely fought against superior numbers.

Sources quoted by IANS said Indian Army troops were outnumbered five times when they came under attack from the Chinese soldiers at patrolling point number 14 on the LAC.

China’s PLA “savagely attacked” the Indian Army personnel, sources in the government were also quoted as saying.

However, there is no official description on the amount of violence.

China is also said to have used thermal imaging drones to trace the Indian soldiers scattered on the treacherous terrain before brutally attacking them.

“It was the deadliest attack carried on Indian Army personnel by Chinese military personnel in our memory,” the government source said.

“We were outnumbered,” admitted an Indian Army officer, about the clash that went on for six to seven hours.

Indian Army said that its soldiers went to the spot where the clashes happened without any animosity and were displaying friendly gestures to the Chinese side as they sought to check if the de-escalation agreement was being followed as promised.

Meanwhile, several Indian Army soldiers are currently “critically injured” and are undergoing treatment. The fatality numbers could increase” as the current critically injured personnel numbers are reportedly more than 10.

In a strong message to Beijing, Foreign minister S Jaishankar told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Wednesday said that what happened in Galwan valley was “pre-meditated” and “planned action” by China which was responsible for the sequence of events.

EAM S Jaishankar underlined that this unprecedented development will have a serious impact on the bilateral relationship and stressed that the need of the hour was for the Chinese side to reassess its actions and take corrective steps.

Jaishankar further noted that the two sides should scrupulously and sincerely implement the understanding reached by senior commanders on June 6.