Army releases names of 20 martyrs; indebted India mourns!
On Wednesday, the Indian Army released the names of 20 soldiers who were killed in action on Monday at the Galwan Valley, Ladakh, after clashing with China's People's Liberation Army (PLA). The worst such escalation in decades between the nuclear-armed neighbors sparked reactions globally, with the US and UK calling for a peaceful resolution. Meanwhile, India remembered the fallen with teary eyes.
A high-altitude area witnessed bloodiest clash in decades
Unarmed soldiers from both the sides fought at the Galwan Valley, a rocky Himalayan range, which has been brimming with tensions since May. China saw red after New Delhi initiated construction projects in the high-altitude area. Although Galwan was a flashpoint in the 1962 Sino-India war, it remained peaceful after that. Hence, China's deployment of forces and claim to the area's sovereignty upset India.
Without a single bullet being fired, both sides suffered casualties
Since the tensions peaked, talks happened at various levels to defuse it, but situation got aggravated after the Chinese attempted to erect a structure, rather than retreating. They attacked Indians with rocks covered in barbed wires and nailed wooden logs. The hand-to-hand fighting continued for hours, some Indian soldiers fell into the river and breathed their last. Both India and China leveled tit-for-tat allegations.
Commanding officer and 19 others martyred
After initially announcing that three soldiers were killed in action, the Indian Army revised the list saying 17 soldiers who suffered injuries passed away. Commanding Officer Colonel B Santosh Babu was martyred, the Army said. Nb Sub Nuduram Soren, Nb Sub Mandeep Singh, Nb Sub Satnam Singh, and Hav K Palani also laid their lives for the nation.
A new father was martyred
Hav Sunil Kumar, Hav Bipul Roy, NK Deepak Kumar, Sep Rajesh Orang, Sep Kundan Kumar Ojha, Sep Ganesh Ram, Sep Chandrakanta Pradhan, Sep Ankush, Sep Gurbinder, Sep Gurtej Singh, Sep Chandan Kumar, Sep Kundan Kumar, Sep Aman Kumar, Sep Jai Kishore Singh, and Sep Ganesh Handsa were martyred too. Meanwhile, China didn't reveal its number of casualties but reports claimed 30 died.
Santosh Babu spoke to his parents on Sunday evening
Santosh Babu, the only son of his retired banker father B Upender and mother Manjula, leaves behind his wife, eight-year-old daughter and four-year-old son. He spoke to his parents on Sunday evening, they asked him to remain careful, and the Colonel told them the situation isn't as bad as shown by the media. The crestfallen father said they were in deep shock.
Colonel's mother is proud. Sepoy's father will make grandsons armymen
"I am both sad and proud. My son has laid down his life for the country. As a mother I am sad. He was my only son," Manjula, who broke down in front of media, said. The same emotion was reflected by the father of Sepoy Kundan Kumar. He said he would send his two grandsons to the Army.
"India wants peace but capable of fitting reply too"
The grieving nation was told today by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that India advocates peace, but is capable of giving a fitting reply too. The sacrifices of the soldiers will not go in vain, he added. Bollywood celebrities, sports personalities, President Ram Nath Kovind, and politicians cutting across party lines, mourned the incident and extended support to the soldiers' families.
The fallen were given last respects
Martyred Indian Army soldiers were given last respects with traditional Khataks in Leh, after medical formalities at SNM Hospital, today.— PrasarBharti_Ladakh (@prasarbharti) June 17, 2020
Ladakh LG RK Mathur laid wreath to the martyrs in the Morning.
It was emotional atmosphere with mist eyes, patriotic slogans at hospital. pic.twitter.com/VRz6BGT05w