After China released ten Indian soldiers recently, did the Indian Army also capture and later release Chinese soldiers post the Galwan valley clash? According to claims by former Army general, India has now returned the captured Chinese troops while signalling that the nation “will to stand up to an aggressive China.”
Early this week in Ladakh’s Galwan valley, soldiers from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Indian Army were engaged in a brutal clash which led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers and unconfirmed casualties on the Chinese side.
It was reported that the clash broke out when Indian troops objected to China’s erection of a tent at the Patrolling Point 14 in Galwan area. Troops from both the nuclear-armed nations attacked each other with stones, iron rods and bamboo poles wrapped in barbed wire fastened with nails.
The nail-studded rods — captured by Indian soldiers from the Galwan Valley encounter site — with which Chinese soldiers attacked an Indian Army patrol and killed 20 Indian soldiers.
Such barbarism must be condemned. This is thuggery, not soldiering pic.twitter.com/nFcNpyPHCQ
— Ajai Shukla (@ajaishukla) June 18, 2020
“The numbers of Indian Army troops compared to PLA troops were of 1:5 ratio,” sources told Indian media outlet IANS, adding that China used thermal imaging drones to trace Indian army soldiers before brutally attacking them. “It was the deadliest attack carried on Indian Army personnel,” stated the government sources.
The Deadly Himalayan Brawl
The clash that broke out in the afternoon continued till midnight killing 20 Indian soldiers including a colonel-ranked officer and injuring more than 65, as reported by Indian Defence officials.
These casualties are the first to have happened after 1975 when an Indian patrol was ambushed by Chinese troops in Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims to be a part of South Tibet.
“This was the first clash of its kind on the Line of Actual Control because India has the capability and the determination to stand up to an aggressive China,” a top military commander told the media.
While China’s defence officials have not revealed any official figures about the casualties, Indian media had recently reported that the commanding officer of the PLA battalion deployed in eastern Ladakh and his second-in-command, died in the faceoff.
The report that is believed to have emerged from people familiar with the developments in the area also noted that about 43 Chinese soldiers were found to be dead and seriously injured in the border clashes.
Indian intercepts reveal that Chinese side suffered 43 casualties including dead and seriously injured in face-off in the Galwan valley: Sources confirm to ANI pic.twitter.com/xgUVYSpTzs
— ANI (@ANI) June 16, 2020
However, the Editor-in-Chief of Global Times, the mouthpiece of China’s Communist Party (CCP) tweeted that “Chinese side didn’t release the number of PLA casualties in the clash with Indian soldiers. My understanding is the Chinese side doesn’t want people of the two countries to compare the casualties number so to avoid stoking public mood. This is goodwill from Beijing.”
Chinese side didn’t release number of PLA casualties in clash with Indian soldiers. My understanding is the Chinese side doesn’t want people of the two countries to compare the casualties number so to avoid stoking public mood. This is goodwill from Beijing.
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) June 16, 2020
India Returns Chinese Soldiers Captured In Ladakh?
India’s former Army chief Gen VK Singh claimed on Saturday that even India had captured Chinese soldiers who had crossed over to the Indian side during the violent clash on June 15.
China had recently returned 10 soldiers to India on Thursday that they had detailed post the clashes. The 10 soldiers included 2 majors and 2 captains who safely returned to their respective sides. “Similarly, we returned their men (Chinese soldiers) who had come to our side,” tells the former general.
As EurAsian Times previously reported, the Indian and Chinese soldiers had exchanged blows along the disputed boundary in North Sikkim in early May. The confrontation that involved around 150 soldiers left four Indian and seven Chinese soldiers with minor injuries.
The tussle got later resolved with local-level interaction and dialogue between senior officials of both the sides, however, experts had warned about the possible worsening of the situation.
The Galwan Valley stand-off that continues till date, is perceived by many experts to even more dangerous than the 2017 Doklam stand-off that lasted 73 days, making global news for being the biggest flare-up between Indi and China since 1962.