New Delhi Indian and Chinese military talks at Galwan Valley over the violent clash along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh ended in a stalemate on Wednesday. The three-hour dialogue remained inconclusive at the end of the day but will continue.
The clash, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed, occurred at the south bank of Galwan river, which flows in an east-west direction before its confluence with Shyok river.
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. “The dialogue to continue on Thursday also. India represented by a Major General slated to meet the counterpart tomorrow (Thursday) again,” said a senior Indian Army official.
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.
These were the first casualties faced by the Indian Army in a clash with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army since 1975 when an Indian patrol was ambushed by Chinese troops in Arunachal Pradesh.
Around 120 Indian soldiers were trapped and encircled by Chinese troops and thereafter savagely beaten, many to the point of mutilation, on Monday night, sources said on Wednesday.
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 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, according to sources in the government with knowledge of the details of the Monday night clashes between the two armies.
“The numbers were stacked up against the Indian Army troops. Yet, the Indian side decided to fight the PLA. The Indian soldiers were outnumbered 1:5 by the Chinese troopers,” a source said on Wednesday.
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.
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 more than 10, the sources said.(IANS)