Galwan: 10 things to know about the latest India-China battle at 14,000 ft
20 Indian Army men lost their lives at the hands of Chinese troops during a faceoff at Galwan, the new trouble spot along the LAC, as two nuclear armed powers took to fighting with sticks and stones at a height of 14,000 feet.
Casualties took place on both sides, an Indian Army statement said. However, there are no details on Chinese toll yet.
Following the killings last night, the situation is now poised on a dagger’s edge at the site where de-escalation was in process after several weeks of tense standoff.
Here we collate 10 significant things about the place that has suddenly found itself at the centre of frantic media coverage.
1. NEW DELHI: Twenty Indian soldiers, including a Colonel, were killed and several others grievously injured in a violent physical skirmish with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley on Monday, in a massive escalation of the continuing military confrontation in the high-altitude region since early-May even though no bullets were fired.
2. The last time such casualties happened was in Tung La of Arunachal 45 years ago, way back in 1975, when four Assam Rifles men had been killed.
3. The faceoff took place during the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley. The incident comes days after Army Chief Gen Naravane said both sides have begun disengaging from the Galwan Valley.
4. No bullets were fired in the clash; instead, stones and clubs were used, according to sources.
5. The two armies are engaged in a standoff in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie in eastern Ladakh. A significant number of Chinese troops have transgressed into the Indian side at several places including Pangong Tso.
5. The border crisis started at Eastern Ladakh when Chinese troops intruded at four locations and set up forces in depth. In early May, China began building up in strength along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. This included heavy vehicles, tanks, artillery and more than of 6,000 troops.
7. The ongoing standoff at Ladakh different from earlier episodes like Depsang and Chumar. This is not a clash triggered during patrolling. This is a well-thought out move on China’s part to pressure India simultaneously at multiple locations.
8. China has mobilised troops at equipment at those locations, including artillery and even tanks on its side of LAC. and digging defences there.
9. Meanwhile, India has also set up the intended infra in those locations. The India Army has stationed troops and equipment matching the Chinese numbers.
10. Although high-level efforts are on to defuse the situation, a quick resolution of this standoff at Galwan doesn’t seem likely now. Chances are that it could be prolonged impasse, with India unlikely to budge even as China appears unwilling to pull back.