Amid the ongoing standoff, a violent clash took place between the Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Monday night in Eastern Ladakh. The clash resulted in the martyrdom of an Indian Army officer and two jawans.
In a statement issued by the Indian Army, the incident took place during the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh.
The Army said in its statement, “Senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting to defuse the situation.”
Major General Abhijit Bapat, Indian commander of the Karu-based HQs 3 Infantry Division and his Chinese counterpart are holding talks at LAC to defuse the tension.
Reports suggest that both sides have suffered fatal casualties. Various Indian news outlets reported that India has retaliated by killing 5 Chinese soldiers however, there’s no official confirmation pertaining to this. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that on Monday “Indian troops seriously violated our consensus and twice crossed the borderline for illegal activities and provoked and attacked Chinese personnel which leads to serious physical conflict between the two sides,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday.
However, a report by the Telegraph says, “thirty-four Indian soldiers ar,e also missing – believed to either be dead or captured”. There is no official statement by the government yet.
Ajai Shukla, an Indian defence analyst, and former army officer said, “You’re in a very, very serious situation here.” He added, “This could go any which way.”
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. However, the army did not comment on this.
This won’t be the first time the two armies have used stones as weapons to attack each other in the area.
There have been no casualties on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) for at least 45 years, confirmed former Indian Chief of Army Staff, General Bikram Singh.