JUNE 16, 2020
A Commanding Officer of the Indian Army and two soldiers were killed during a “violent face-off” with the Chinese troops in Ladakh in unprecedented and dangerous escalation of an intense faceoff between the two armies since April.
“During the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place yesterday night with casualties. 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,” the army said in a statement.
Hundreds of soldiers have been ranged against each other in the remote snow desert of Ladakh since April in the most serious border flare-ups for years after Chinese patrols advanced into Indian side of the de facto border.
The two sides made headway in their talks with army chief saying disengagement was in progress. The development had come after weeks of tension, including an incident in which patrolling soldiers from the two sides came to blows on the banks of Pangong Lake, resulting in injuries.
The two armies have since thinned out some forces in a positive signal but soldiers, tanks and other armoured carriers remained heavily deployed in the high-altitude region, an official had said.
India and China fought a brief border war in 1962 and have not been able to settle their border despite two decades of talks. Both claim thousands of kilometres of territory and patrols along the undemarcated Line of Actual Control – the de-facto border – often run into each other, leading to tensions.