New Delhi, June 16:
As per the official statement by the Army, a Colonel-rank officer and two soldiers of the Indian Army were killed in the violent face-off with Chinese troops posted in the Galwan Valley area. Sources said no bullets were fired in the clash. Clubs and stones were instead used to attack soldiers, the sources said.
Here is the full official statement from the Indian Army on the incident and the situation in Ladakh:
“During the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place yesterday night with casualties. The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers. Senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting at the venue to defuse the situation.”
The Indian Army later amended its statement, saying that the casualties took place on both sides. The Indian Army also added that there was no firing in the scuffle.
In an updated statement, the Indian Army said, “During the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place yesterday night with casualties on both sides. The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers. Senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting at the venue to defuse the situation.”
The Indian and Chinese armies have been locked in an over five-week standoff in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie in Eastern Ladakh.
The trigger for the face-off was China’s stiff opposition to India laying a key road in the Finger area around the Pangong Tso Lake besides construction of another road connecting the Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Beg Oldie road in Galwan Valley.
The situation in the area deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent face-off on May 5 and 6. The incident in Pangong Tso was followed by a similar incident in north Sikkim on May 9.
Following the standoff in eastern Ladakh, the two sides have deployed additional troops along the LAC, the de-facto Sino-India border, in North Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh.
Both sides held a series of talks in the last few days to resolve the row.
In their first serious efforts to end the row, Lt General Harinder Singh, the general officer commanding of Leh-based 14 Corps, and Commander of the Tibet Military District Maj Gen Liu Lin held a nearly seven-hour meeting on June 6.
The meeting was followed by Major General-level talks on Wednesday and Friday.
The Army Chief last week had said the “entire situation” along India’s border with China was under control, and that both the armies were “disengaging” in a phased manner beginning from Galwan Valley.