20 Indian Army soldiers martyred in Galwan Valley, almost the same number of Chinese troops also killed
New Delhi: The government sources on Tuesday said that at least 20 Indian Army soldiers have been martyred during the violent face-off with the Chinese troops in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday night.
The sources also said that though the exact number is not known, almost the same number of Chinese troops have been killed during the clashes in the Galwan Valley.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has blamed China for the incident and alleged that it tried to unilaterally change the status and "departed from the consensus to respect the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan Valley".
Speaking on the issue, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said both sides suffered casualties in the violent face-off and the Chinese side departed from the consensus to respect the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan Valley.
Responding to media queries on the situation in the western sector of the India-China border, Srivastava said that India and China have been discussing through military and diplomatic channels the de-escalation of the situation in the border area in Eastern Ladakh.
He said commanders of two sides had a productive meeting on June 6 and agreed on a process for such de-escalation and subsequently ground commanders had a series of meetings to implement the consensus reached at a higher level.
"While it was our expectation that this would unfold smoothly, the Chinese side departed from the consensus to respect the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan Valley. On the late evening and night of June 15, 2020 a violent face-off happened as a result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo there. Both sides suffered casualties that could have been avoided had the agreement at the higher level been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side," he said.
Srivastava said that given its responsible approach to border management, India is very clear that all its activities are always within the Indian side of the LAC. "We expect the same of the Chinese side," he said.
The spokesperson said that India remains firmly convinced of the need for maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas and the resolution of differences through dialogue.
"At the same time, we are also strongly committed to ensuring India`s sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said.
The loss of lives on the Indian side during the violent face-off includes an officer and two soldiers.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held two review meetings over developments in eastern Ladakh during the day.
A meeting was held at the residence of Defence Minister in the evening which was attended by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General MM Naravane.