Four Indian soldiers are in critical condition after the violent face-off with Chinese troops at eastern Ladakh on Monday evening, sources said. The Army on Tuesday confirmed that 20 soldiers were killed in the fight at Galwan Valley in Ladakh. 43 Chinese soldiers have been killed or seriously injured, news agency ANI reported quoting sources who based the information on intercepts.
An army statement on Tuesday morning confirmed the death of a Colonel and two jawans and spoke of “casualties on both sides”. In another statement last evening, the army added that 17 more critically injured were “exposed to sub-zero temperatures… (and) succumbed to their injuries”.
The army statement opened by saying Indian and Chinese troops “have disengaged” at the Galwan area where they earlier clashed on the night of June 15/16.
Agence France Presse quoted an Indian army source as saying the incident involved no shooting but “violent hand-to-hand scuffles”. The soldiers threw punches and stones at each other and the Chinese troops allegedly used rods and nail-studded clubs during the fight that lasted for hours until midnight on Monday, according to reports.
China’s defence ministry confirmed the incident had resulted in casualties but did not give details.
India, however, blamed the clashes on “an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo there”, rebutting China’s claims that Indian soldiers crossed the border.
Spokesperson of Foreign Ministry, Anurag Shrivastava said, “India is very clear that all its activities are always within the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control. We expect the same on the Chinese side.”