New Delhi: Monday night’s violent physical clash with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops notwithstanding, the Indian Army has completed the construction of a strategically important bridge in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, which was the site of the clash, news agency PTI has quoted government officials as saying. Also Read - India, China Border Fight: Will Never Let Sacrifice of Braves of Galwan go in Vain, Says IAF Chief
The 60-metre bridge lies around four kilometres east of the confluence of rivers Shyok and Galwan and links the region to the important Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) Road. Also Read - Galwan Clash: No Border Intrusion, No Indian Post Taken Over, Claims PM; Says Army Given Free Hand | 10 Points
Notably, the construction of this bridge is one of the reasons behind the Chinese aggression in eastern Ladakh as, once operational, it will provide the Army easier access to points near the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto 3,488 km-long border between India and China. Also Read - BCCI to Review IPL Sponsorship With Chinese Companies Including Vivo, Other Deals Under Scanner After Galwan Clash
Further, the bridge, the construction of which was completed on Thursday-three days after the violent clash-is also not very far from the place where the clash took place.
“The construction of the bridge was completed despite the ongoing standoff and China’s objection to the bridge,” PTI quoted a senior military official as saying.
Notably, 20 Indian troops-including a Colonel-were martyred in the clash on June 15 while over 70 were injured. The Chinese side is yet to make its toll public, though it has been reported that between 35-43 PLA troops were killed or injured in the fight.
This was the deadliest India-China skirmish since 1967 in which over 80 Indian and 300 Chinese troops died. However, 1975 was the last time, before present day, that casualties took place in an India-China border clash.