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India-China border standoff: Major Generals hold talks on ground, all units placed on alert

A fresh round of talks Wednesday at the level of Major Generals after Monday’s violent faceoff between Indian and Chinese soldiers failed to break the deadlock between the two sides, with the meeting ending on an inconclusive note.

This was the second meeting in two days between GOC 3 Division and his Chinese counterpart at PP14 on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Tuesday’s meeting had resulted in bringing down tensions in the area which had been running high following the violent faceoff which led to the death of 20 soldiers, including the Commanding Officer of 16 Bihar, Colonel B Santosh Babu.

Officials said 18 other soldiers seriously injured were admitted to the Military Hospital in Leh. There were 58 others with minor injuries at Tangtse.

The government, meanwhile, has asked all military units to be in a state of high readiness – on operational alert – for any deployment in light of the high tension on the China border. As reported earlier, Army units had been moved forward in May closer to the LAC, in all three sectors of the Sino-Indian border.

Monday night’s incident in Galwan Valley was the worst flare-up on the LAC in more than five decades.

The Army said there were casualties on both sides. Beijing remained silent on PLA losses.

In a statement late Tuesday night, the Army confirmed the loss of 20 Indian lives and also said that troops had disengaged in Galwan.

“Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged at the Galwan area where they had earlier clashed on the night of 15/16 June 2020. 17 Indian troops who were critically injured in the line of duty at the standoff location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high-altitude terrain have succumbed to their injuries, taking the total that were killed in action to 20. Indian Army is firmly committed to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation,” the Army said in its statement.

This is the first time in the last 45 years that Indian or Chinese troops have been killed on the LAC. In 1975, an Indian patrol was ambushed by the Chinese in Arunachal Pradesh. Prior to that, there was a violent showdown in Nathu La in Sikkim in 1967 in which 88 Indian soldiers and over 300 Chinese soldiers were killed.

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