Guwahati: Amid ongoing tensions at the border, an Indian army Colonel and 2 soldiers have been killed in a violent skirmish in Ladakh, officials said.
The army in a statement 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."
An unnamed officer told foreign media that there was no firing and no firearms were used and the lives were lost during violent hand-to-hand scuffles.
Meanwhile, the editor of the Chinese news Global Times has said that there indeed have been casualties on the Chinese side. "Based on what I know, the Chinese side also suffered casualties in the Galwan Valley physical clash. I want to tell the Indian side, don't be arrogant, and misread China's restraint as being weak. China doesn't want to have a clash with India, but we don't fear it," tweeted Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the daily that is seen as the Chinese Government's mouthpiece.
The Global Times quotes the Chinese Foreign Minister of saying that 2 Indian soldiers had penetrated into Chinese territory twice.
According to reports, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the complications at the border through a video call.
It needs mention here that Chinese and Indian troops have been engaged in a stand-off in at least 2 locations along the line of actual control --- the 3,488 km boundary between the two neighbors. The stand offs have been going on at the Galwan River and the disputed Pangong Tso Lake in the Tibetan plateau.
Meanwhile, Chinese and Indian military leaders have been in talks in the Galwan Valley area and Hot Springs.
China is presumably offended at the construction of Indian roads and airstrips in the area at a time when the Government is seeking to boost connectivity in the far-flung border areas. By 2022, the Government intends to finish construction of 66 roads along the Chinese border, including one near the disputed Galwan valley.
Also watch: Freedom fighter Kushal Konwar Remembered