20 Indian soldiers martyred in face-off with Chinese troops: Army
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) released a statement on Tuesday on the clash between Indian and Chinese armies at Galwan Valley last night, saying the People's Liberation Army tried changing the status quo in the area. Meanwhile, Indian Army said 20 soldiers including a Colonel were martyred. Separately, it is revealed that "Chinese side suffered 43 casualties including dead and seriously injured."
Already brimming with tensions, Eastern Ladakh witnessed a violent face-off between the two armies. The Indian Army earlier confirmed that one Colonel and two soldiers were martyred, the first such bloodshed to happen along LAC in 45 years. Colonel B. Santosh Babu of Bihar regiment from Telangana, Havildar Palani from Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand's Sepoy Ojha were killed in action, said reports.
Meanwhile, MEA said India and China have been discussing the matter for a long time through military and diplomatic channels. Mentioning the June 6 meeting between seniors of both the armies, India said the discussion was "productive". Ground commanders had agreed to implement the consensus of the higher officials, MEA added. Blaming China, it said they did not abide by it.
Noting that deaths could have been avoided had China followed the agreement "scrupulously", MEA added, "Given its responsible approach to border management, India is very clear that all its activities are always within Indian side of LAC. We expect the same of the Chinese side."
Further, MEA said India understands the importance of maintaining peace and tranquility at border areas and supports dialogue. But at the same time, "we are also strongly committed to ensuring India's sovereignty and territorial integrity". Earlier, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Indian troops crossed over the border twice and "attacked and provoked forces". China hasn't confirmed the number of casualties.