Srinagar: Three Indian soldiers including a Colonel and two army soldiers have been killed in the Galwan region of Ladakh, amid tensions between the armies of India and China.
The Indian Army has 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.”
Recently, the Indian Army Chief Naravane had said, “situation along our borders with China is under control”, adding that a series of meetings between senior military commanders from both sides had resulted in “a lot of disengagement” and that “all perceived differences that we (India and China) have will be set to rest”.
India and China are currently engaged in military level talks to disengage in the Ladakh region where tensions have been building up. Armies of both countries have gotten into fist fights in the high altitude region.
Indian side maintains that both parties have mutually agreed to pull back troops, but accept that tension in the Pangong Tso region remains.
Chinese government mouthpiece has been upping its rhetoric while the PLA has been moving heavy weaponry to the border and conducting military drills.
A Chinese diplomat reacting to the standoff in Ladakh has said that the move is linked to the Indian government’s unilateral decision to scrap Article 370 in August last year.
The move changed the laws that prohibited Indians from buying land in Kashmir, and made the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir defunct, triggering fears of demographic change in the Muslims majority region of Kashmir.
When India scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5 last year, the Chinese foreign ministry had issued two statements criticising the development, including one that focused on the splitting of the state into union territories.
This statement, while urging India to be “cautious” on the border issue and to avoid “actions that further complicate the border issue”, said: “China has always opposed India’s inclusion of Chinese territory in India’s administrative jurisdiction in the western part of the Sino-Indian border.” This was a reference to the area in Ladakh that New Delhi claims but is controlled by Beijing.
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