Indian Army says committed to protect territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation after Galwan Valley faceoff
New Delhi: India Army on Tuesday (June 16) evening came out with a statement to clarify on violent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday night.
The statement said, "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," it added.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), meanwhile, blamed China for the violent 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".
MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava stated that 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 a higher level.
The MEA 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 added.
Notably, Colonel Santosh Babu, the Commanding Officer of 16, Bihar Regiment, Havildar K K Pazhani, and Sepoy Kundan Kumar Ojha laid down their lives during the skirmish with the Chinese Army on Monday night.
This is the first violent clash between Indian and Chinese troops on LAC since 1975 in which casualties have taken place.