Since 1967 this was the first time Indians suffered such a calamity during an intense fight with People’s Liberation Army in Galwan valley. India also lost its troops back in 1999 at Kargil while battling with Pakistan Army but the current outlook may even lead to much serious escalation.
The Galwan valley battle on Monday was a hand to hand battle which continued for over 8 hours. The PLA was equipped with iron rods and wires were wrapped around sticks. The People’s Liberation Army attacked 16 Bihar Regiment on Monday night showdown. Heavy stones were also thrown from the peak of patrol point 14 at Indian soldiers. These details were shared by survivors of the latest confrontation between India and China.
In a violent battle that ensued between China and India who are almost equally matched in troops numbers, Indian forces faced a massive blow and lost its 23 soldiers which include commanding officer of 16 Bihar Regiment Colonel Santosh Babu. Those who wanted to escape the battle area were tracked down and killed by PLA.
According to sources, apart from these 23 deaths, there are others who also received live threatening injuries. The numbers will likely go up said a military official.
Everything was started over a tent which was set up at petrol point 14 by Chinese forces near the Galwan River. After the meeting between Lt General Harinder Singh and Major General Lin Liu on 6th June the tent was placed by the Chinese.
On Monday the Chinese troops set up a fresh tent at Petrol Point 14 on India’s claim land and Colonel Santosh received orders for removal of the tent.
According to Chinese sources, Colonel Santosh and his unit crossed line which was separating the two sides, Colonel and his men broke border management rules and signals were also given to the opposite side to turn back and leave the territory.
According to Indian Officials they have also handed over dead bodies of Chinese soldiers to PLA. But there is no official statement from Beijing regarding lost soldiers or other casualties.
The same kind of hand to hand combat was seen back on 5th May but luckily there were no casualties except wounds to commanding officer Colonel Vijay Rana of the 11 Mahar Regiment, which lead to a prolonged standoff.