It was not a hand-to-hand fight between the forces and Chinese troopers used all kinds of weapons against the Indian soldiers at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh Monday night, IANS has learnt.
Around 120 Indian soldiers, almost an entire company, were trapped and encircled by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and what followed were savage and deceptive attacks to the point of mutilation, sources said.
Pointing firearms at their faces, the PLA troopers tortured some Indian soldiers to death, sources further revealed, adding that the Indian soldiers were helpless with the government directions of not to use firearms as part of the agreements between the two countries.
Sources said the Indian Army troopers were outnumbered by 1:5 ratio when they came under attack from the PLA soldiers at the patrolling point number 14 on the Line of Actual Control dividing the countries in Ladakh.
The PLA troopers “savagely attacked” Indian Army personnel, according to sources in the government with knowledge of the details of the Monday night clashes between the two armies’ soldiers.
“The numbers were stacked up against the Indian Army troopers. Yet, the Indian side decided to fight the PLA troopers. The Indian soldiers were outnumbered 1:5 by the Chinese troopers,” the sources said on Wednesday.
China is also said to have used thermal imaging drones to trace the Indian Army soldiers scattered on the treacherous terrain before brutally attacking them.
“It was the deadliest attack carried on the Indian Army personnel by the Chinese military personnel to our memory,” the government sources said.
“We were outnumbered,” admitted an Indian Army officer, talking about the clash that went on for six to seven hours.
Sources said Colonel Santosh Babu, the Indian commanding officer who was killed, went to see whether the Chinese troops had withdrawn from the standoff position as promised by the PLA. The Chinese trapped the Indian soldiers and brutally attacked them to the “point of mutilation”.
Indian Army sources said its soldiers went to the spot where the clashes happened without any animosity and were displaying friendly gestures to the Chinese side that they were there to check if the de-escalation agreement was being followed as promised.
“But they trapped and carried out the attacks, a purely savage act,” an Indian Army official told IANS.
Tuesday, Indian helicopters flew around 16 times to bring bodies and injured army personnel from the site of the attack in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh region, government sources said. Four bodies of the Indian Army personnel were flown to Leh from Galwan Valley Wednesday morning.
The Indian Army Tuesday said 20 of its men, including officers, were killed in an unprecedented violent clash with PLA troopers in the Galwan Valley on Monday night. The force also said the death toll would increase, as many soldiers were grievously injured.
These are the first casualties suffered by either army since 1975 when an Indian patrol was ambushed by the Chinese troops in Arunachal Pradesh.
The latest attack took place after the brigade and company commander-level talks happened in eastern Ladakh, where the Galwan Valley is, between the two militaries.