New Delhi: All Indian soldiers involved in the deadly clash with China at Galwan Valley in Ladakh on Monday have now been accounted for, senior officials of the army said today.
This comes at a time when there have been reports that a number of Indian soldiers continued to be in the custody of the Chinese Army. The Army has not commented on the release of any soldiers from Chinese custody, but said: “It is clarified that there are no Indian troops missing in action.”
Twenty soldiers including a Colonel were killed in the line of duty. Though Beijing has given no official figure, army sources say at least 45 Chinese soldiers were killed or injured.
Some Indian soldiers are still recovering at a hospital in Ladakh but more information on this is not being disclosed until the army declares that it is safe to do so.
An Indian Major General and his Chinese counterpart met for the second consecutive day near Patrol Point 14 in Galwan Valley, where the clash took place. The talks on Wednesday were inconclusive with the Chinese side showing no sides of disengaging from the area.
In the violent face-off which took place at nearly 15,000 feet up in the Himalayas near the freezing Galwan River, soldiers were attacked with iron rods, rocks wrapped in barbed wire and nail-studded clubs. Some soldiers fell off a steep ridge into the icy river.
After confirming on Tuesday that three soldiers including the Colonel were killed, the army said 17 more critically injured soldiers were “exposed to sub-zero temperatures” and died of their injuries. Their sacrifice would not go in vain, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said yesterday, warning that India would give a fitting reply if provoked.
The incident “will have a serious impact on the bilateral relationship” and China must reassess its actions and take corrective steps, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in a phone conversation on Wednesday, the first high-level engagement since tension built up at the Line of Actual Control seven weeks ago.
But the ministers agreed that “neither side would take any action to escalate matters” and both sides would implement the disengagement understanding of June 6, when top military officers held the first of many talks to defuse tension.