After the first fatal clash between India and China since 1975, almost after 40 years At least 20 soldiers have died in fighting along the disputed Himalayan border, Doyens observe that the current hostilities mark the beginning of China entering into a more ‘volatile chapter’ concerning the LAC. Despite attempts at the high level for a harmonious resolution through exchanges between the Ministry of External Affairs and the Chinese counterparts, and the commander-level talks, nothing could abate the border row. However, Beijing’s choice of time for its power projection at New Delhi’s Himalayan border is miscalculated.
foreign ministry spokesperson Anurag Shrivastava made statement that the “India is very clear that all its activities are always within the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control. We expect the same of the Chinese side,”
Earlier on Tuesday, China claimed Indian troops had “crossed the border illegally twice and carried out provocative attacks”. Saying it had lodged “strong protests and solemn complaints” with India, the Chinese foreign ministry asked New Delhi to “restrain” its frontline troops and “not cross the border” and “provoke”. Meanwhile, Beijing has refused to confirm any deaths on its side, but accused India of crossing the border twice and “provoking and attacking Chinese personnel”.
Fighting broke out on Monday evening when an Indian patrol came across Chinese forces on a narrow ridge. During the confrontation an Indian commanding officer was pushed and fell into the river gorge. Hundreds of troops from both sides were called in and fought with rocks and clubs. Several fell to their deaths.
An army statement confirmed the death of a Colonel and two jawans and spoke of “casualties on both sides”. In another statement last evening, the army added that 17 more critically injured were “exposed to sub-zero temperatures… (and) succumbed to their injuries”. The army statement opened by saying Indian and Chinese troops “have disengaged” at the Galwan area where they earlier clashed on the night of June 15/16. The soldiers threw punches and stones at each other and the Chinese troops allegedly used rods and nail-studded clubs during the fight that lasted for hours until midnight on Monday.