Indo-China clash: Second Major General-level talks begin; troops alerted
A Major General of the Indian Army spoke to Chinese military officials on Thursday, again, after Wednesday's talks at the same level remained inconclusive. Talks were initiated to defuse the tensions in Eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley, where 20 soldiers were martyred after a violent face-off with China's People's Liberation Army on Monday. After the worst escalation in decades, armed forces were put on alert.
Tense since May, Galwan Valley witnessed bloodiest clash in decades
The tensed relationship between the neighbors nosedived on Monday after PLA attacked Indian soldiers using boulders, rocks, nailed wooden logs, etc., as the latter objected to their presence in a disputed spot. As per the agreement on June 6 between high-level officers, PLA was supposed to retreat. To recall, New Delhi's infrastructure push at the tough terrain miffed China, sparking tensions in May.
PM Modi fumed after soldiers' deaths, Jaishankar blamed China
The bloodbath evoked anger with Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that while India advocates peace, it is capable of giving a fitting reply. Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, for the first time since the face-off, blaming Beijing for whatever happened. "What happened in Galwan was premeditated and planned action by China," Jaishankar told him.
Talks happened twice, but yielded no results
To diffuse the tensions, talks between senior officers happened twice— one on Tuesday and another yesterday. "The talks have remained inconclusive as there is no immediate disengagement or change in the ground," people in the know said about the conversation on Wednesday. At 10:30 am, another round of talks started. To note, China had earlier said it doesn't want more clashes.
Aspects of clash, June 6 meeting's conclusions will be discussed
According to IE, the talks will be centered around some aspects of the showdown. The focus will also be given to the restoration of the status quo, as per the conclusions reached after the June 6 meeting, which was held at the Chushul-Moldo border point.
76 soldiers were injured from the Indian side
Notably, a total of 76 Indian soldiers were injured in the violence, but none of them are said to be in critical condition. 18 soldiers were admitted to Leh's Military Hospital with serious injuries. Four were immediately put on the "dangerously ill" category but were said to be stable. Among the soldiers who laid their lives was a Commanding Officer of 16 Bihar Regiment.
Government gave forces free hand to stock up reserves
It was in 1967 when India and China were involved in such a deadly clash. Back then, in Nathu La, 88 Indian soldiers were martyred and over 300 Chinese soldiers died. In wake of the worst escalation, the armed forces are learned to have been given powers to stock up war resources. Chief of Defense Staff, General Bipin Rawat, is coordinating between three forces.
Navy asked to deploy assets, fighter jets kept ready
The Indian Navy also received a green signal from the government to deploy assets near Malacca Strait, and other areas, if needed. Similarly, Air Force assets, like fighter jets, were sent to forward positions. Local commanders were asked to prepare for any situation.