iNDICA NEWS BUREAU
India Tuesday said “an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo” at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh resulted in a “violent face-off” in which there were “casualties on both sides”.
Before the charge from India’s ministry of external affairs, the Indian Army said in a statement : “The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers.”
Indian media identified the deceased officer as Colonel B Santosh L Babu of the Bihar Regiment of the Indian Army.
The Indian ministry of external affairs statement said: “India and China have been discussing through military and diplomatic channels the de-escalation of the situation in the border area in eastern Ladakh.
“Senior commanders had a productive meeting on 6th June 2020 and agreed on a process for such de-escalation. Subsequently, the 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 15th June, 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.
“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.
“We remain firmly convinced of the need for the maintenance of peace and tranquility 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.”
Before India’s statement Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters in Beijing that Indian troops had twice crossed the border Monday and attacked Chinese personnel.
“They provoked and attacked the Chinese side, leading to a severe physical brawl,” he said.
“We again solemnly request that India follows the relevant attitude and restrains its frontline troops. Do not cross the border, do not provoke trouble, do not take any unilateral action that would complicate the border situation,” he added.
Last week there were reports in the Indian media that the country’s army had rushed fighting formations to its northern frontiers after China built up its troop formations all across its 2,520-mile border with India.