Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged at Galwan area where they had earlier clashed on the night of 15/16 June 2020, the Army said in a statement.

An Indian soldier standing with a weapon on a mountain Image for representation only/PTI
news LAC Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - 22:38

The numbers of casualties among Indian Army personnel as a result of the violent confrontation with Chinese troops at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has gone up to 20, the Indian Army confirmed in a statement on Tuesday night.

“Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged at Galwan area where they had earlier clashed on the night of 15/16 June 2020. 17 Indian troops who were critically injured in the line of duty have succumbed to their injuries, taking the total that were killed in action to 20,” the statement on Tuesday night said. 

The statement further attributed the deaths to sub-zero temperatures at the high altitude terrains. 

“Indian Army is firmly committed to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation,” the statement said. 

The face-off is the first such incident in the last 45 years, a culmination of a five-week border row between the two countries. Some reports said that 45 personnel have been captured, of whom 25 have been released, while others said that 135 Indian troops are injured. There is no official confirmation on these reports. 

According to an official statement from the Ministry of External Affairs, the face-off occurred on the late-evening and night of June 15, “as a result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo”  at the LAC (Line of Actual Control). 

“Both sides suffered casualties that could have been avoided had the agreement at higher level been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side,” the statement said. 

PTI reported that the Chinese side also suffered casualties in the face-off, according to government sources. Some reports said that 43 Chinese troops were killed in the faceoff, however there is no official confirmation on this. 

Earlier on Tuesday, the Army revealed India lost an officer and two soldiers during the violent face-off, while there were casualties on the Chinese side as well. Colonel B Santosh Babu, the Commanding Officer (CO) of the 16 Bihar regiment, was one of the soldiers killed in the standoff. Colonel Santosh Babu was from Suryapet district in Telangana. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Havildar Palani from Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu was the other soldier killed in the incident. The 40-year-old Palaniwas from Kadukkalar village in Ramanathapuram. 

According to a senior military officer, it is the first incident involving the casualty of an Indian soldier in a violent clash with the Chinese Army after 1975 when four Indian soldiers were killed in an ambush at Tulung La in Arunachal Pradesh along the de-facto border between the two countries

PTI Inputs

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