India-China: After the latest clash on Monday night – the deadliest along the LAC in decades – the Army is looking to revise its protocols in engaging Chinese forces, sources have said
New Delhi, June 17:
After a deadly clash in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed in eastern Ladakh, the army is reviewing decades-old rules of engagement with China. The standing instructions for soldiers confronting Chinese troops in a violent face-off include not opening fire. However, sources say the army is allegedly discussing this after Monday night’s deadly clash at the Galwan river, which began when Indian troops moved to remove a tent pitched by Chinese soldiers on India’s side of the border.
The army on Tuesday morning reported a Colonel and two jawans had died in the line of duty. At night, it said another 17 soldiers who had been gravely injured and exposed to sub-zero temperatures did not survive their injuries.
Neither the army nor the government have officially commented on how many Chinese soldiers were hurt or killed but sources tell NDTV that the number stands at about 45. This information is based on intercepts as well as helicopters that were seen hovering in the area to airlift Chinese troops.
In a tweet today, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, “The loss of soldiers in Galwan is deeply disturbing and painful. Our soldiers displayed exemplary courage and valour in the line of duty and sacrificed their lives in the highest traditions of the Indian Army.”
The Defence Minister met with the three service chiefs this morning at his home, news agency ANI reported.
A statement from the army last evening said troops were disengaging in the Galwan valley.
Sources have said the soldiers were attacked with stones and batons with nails. The attack came after weeks of China building up its presence along the border which resulted in a stand-off in at least four different places in Ladakh and one in Sikkim.
Last week, army chief General MM Naravane said, “I would like to assure everyone that entire situation along our borders with China is under control.”