New Delhi: A day after the Indian Army lost 20 jawans to the Chinese escalation across the Line of Actual Control, Union defence minister Rajnath Singh mourned for the loss of the lives of the Indian soldiers and said the nation will never forget the bravery and the sacrifice of the soldiers. Taking to Twitter, the minister wrote, “The loss of soldiers in Galwan is deeply disturbing and painful. Our soldiers displayed exemplary courage and valour in the line of duty and sacrificed their lives in the highest traditions of the Indian Army.” Also Read - India-China Disengagement at Hot Springs, Gogra Began on Monday; to be Completed in Few Days: Reports
“The Nation will never forget their bravery and sacrifice. My heart goes out to the families of the fallen soldiers. The nation stands shoulder to shoulder with them in this difficult hour. We are proud of the bravery and courage of India’s breavehearts,” Rajnath wrote. Also Read - Ladakh Standoff: India, China Disengage in Galwan; Here's How NSA Ajit Doval Managed Breakthrough | Top Developments
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called an all-party meeting on June 19. Also Read - India-China Standoff: Aamir Khan Cancels Ladakh Shooting of Laal Singh Chaddha Due to Galwan Clash
Though the Chinese side did not confirm the number of casualties, sources on Tuesday claimed that the Chinese side lost 40 jawans. On Wednesday, sources quoting US Intelligence reports have confirmed to news agency PTI that on the Chinese side, 35 are dead and injured.
The Indian Army on Tuesday said 20 Army personnel, including a Colonel, were killed in the clash on Monday night, in the biggest ever military confrontation between the two armies in over five decades.
Monday’s clash was the biggest confrontation between the two militaries after their 1967 clashes in Nathu La when India lost around 80 soldiers while over 300 Chinese Army personnel were killed in the confrontation.
The External Affairs Ministry on Tuesday said the violent face-off between armies of India and China in eastern Ladakh was the result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo in the region.
The ministry said both sides suffered casualties that could have been avoided had the agreement arrived earlier at the higher level been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side.
The Indian and Chinese armies are engaged in the standoff in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie in eastern Ladakh. A sizeable number of Chinese Army personnel even transgressed into the Indian side of the de-facto border in several areas including Pangong Tso.
The Indian Army has been fiercely objecting to the transgressions, and demanded their immediate withdrawal for the restoration of peace and tranquillity in the area. Both sides held a series of talks in the last few days to resolve the row.