India’s leading sportspersons, including cricket captain Virat Kohli, former all-rounder Yuvraj Singh and football Sunil Chhetri, have paid tributes to the 20 Army personnel killed during a clash with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh. The clash at the Galwan valley was the biggest Indo-China military confrontation in over five decades and escalated the volatile border standoff in the region. As per the media reports, India lost 20 of its soldiers in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley region on Monday night. The Chinese side has also suffered heavy casualties of over 40 soldiers. Also Read - US Announces Visa Ban on Chinese Officials Over Access to Tibet

“Salute and deepest respect to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect our country in the Galwan Valley. NO one is more selfless and brave than a soldier. Sincere condolences to the families. I hope they find peace through our prayers at this difficult time,” Kohli wrote on his twitter page. Also Read - Maharashtra Coronavirus News: With Over 4000 Deaths And 85000 Cases, Now Mumbai Overtakes China

Kohli’s white-ball deputy Rohit Sharma also mourned the death of the soldiers. Also Read - India-China Disengagement at Hot Springs, Gogra Began on Monday; to be Completed in Few Days: Reports

“Salute to our REAL HEROES who laid their lives protecting and honouring our border. May god give their families utmost strength,” Rohit tweeted.

Bhutia, who has also dabbled in politics, termed the attack a “planned one”. While the current India football team skipper Sunil Chhetri urged the top bosses to solve the issue over the table.

“China had asked all its citizens to leave India few weeks back. The killing of our soldiers in LAC was a I think a planned one.

“We completely condemn this cowardly act of China. Indian Govt should take strong necessary action and not bow down to Chinese aggression,” Bhutia wrote on the micro-blogging site.

Double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, Olympic bronze medal-winning duo of wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and shuttler Saina Nehwal and cricketer Shikhar Dhawan were also among the notable athletes to pay tributes.

The death of Indian soliders were the first since the last major border clash in 1967 between the nuclear-armed neighbours. Both India and China are also the world’s two most populous countries – which have been unable to settle the dispute along their lengthy frontier.