New Delhi: Indian and Chinese troops clashed in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley last night, in what was a serious and dramatic escalation in the ongoing tensions between the two countries in the region for well over a month now. While the Indian side has accepted its casualties, there is no word from the Chinese side thus far. Also Read - ‘Don’t Cross Borderline’: China Urges India to Abide by Relevant Agreement on Ladakh Standoff
Here are the top ten developments thus far in connection with this story, which is still developing: Also Read - Ladakh Standoff: Eye For an Eye, Tooth For a Tooth - How Tensions Between India And China Escalated | SEE Map
(1.) “Indian troops again crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan Valley region and purposefully launched provocative attacks, leading to severe clashes and casualties,” China’s Global Times quotes PLA Western Theater Command as saying. Also Read - Ladakh Clashes: 'Casualties on Chinese Side as Well,' Suggests Beijing's Official Mouthpiece
(2.) Earlier today, in a statement, the Army said, “During the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place yesterday night with casualties on both sides. The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers. Senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting at the venue to defuse the situation.”
(3.) The officer martyred in the clashes was a Colonel. Global Times, which is the official mouthpiece of the Chinese government, has suggested that the Chinese side too has suffered casualties. However, there is no official word from Beijing on this thus far.
(4.) According to reports, no bullets were fired during these clashes. Instead, a hand-to-hand combat is believed to have taken place in which both sides suffered casualties. Also, it is being reported that India’s casualty figure is likely to rise.
(5.) China, however, blamed the Indian side for the escalation. Accusing the Indian Army of crossing over to the Chinese side, twice, to attack the PLA troops, Beijing further warned India to refrain from taking any ‘unilateral action’ in this regard. It further said that it had raised ‘strong objections’ with the Indian government on the clashes.
(6.) The clashes took place amid reports that both sides were disengaging from their respective positions in the region. Reportedly, the Colonel was assaulted with stones after which Indian soldiers retaliated and this led to close unarmed combat for several hours.
(7.) Immediately after the clashes, the PLA requested the Indian side for a meeting, to which the Indian side agreed. The meet was called in a bid to de-escalate the situation and prevent it from going further out of control.
(8.) Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh chaired a high-level meeting with CDS General Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs. He also briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue and was present at the PM’s virtual meet with Chief Ministers on the COVID-19 situation in the country.
(9.) Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane cancelled his visit to Pathankot, which he was scheduled to undertake today. He is currently at the Defence Minister’s residence for a meeting to discuss the situation.
(10.) This latest development marks the first time in 45 years that there have been fatalities in a border skirmish between India and China in 45 years. In 1975, troops of Assam Rifles were ambushed by the Chinese at Tulung La in Arunachal Pradesh.