In what can be called as the biggest provocation by China so far and the first loss of lives at the Indo-China border in at least 45-years, top sources in the Indian army tell us that at least eleven army men have been martyred in the violent clash which took place between the Chinese and Indian army men at the Galwan area last night. Sources in the army say that the casualties in the Indian army is reportedly in double digits and so are the number of casualties on the Chinese side.

Some Indian army men are reportedly still unaccounted for since the violent skirmish broke out last night. Some army men who were a part of the delegation who met Chinese army men last night haven’t reported back after the violent clash. There are also fears that some soldiers may be in Chinese captivity, though more details on the same are still awaited. MEA is also likely to issue a statement on same in sometime. Sources in the MEA also tell us that the aggression was from the Chinese and not Indian side. Infact, there was no transgression from the Indian side into Chinese boundary.

Earlier in the day, the Indian army through a press note had confirmed that one commanding officer of the Indian army and two soldiers had been killed in a fistfight with Chinese troops in Eastern Ladakh last night. “During the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place yesterday night which reportedly led to casualties. The loss of lives on the Indian side includes a commanding officer and two soldiers. Senior military officials of the two sides are at the site of the incident to defuse the situation”, said the initial statement by the Indian army. However later the army issued another statement claiming that there were casualties on both sides. Though the number of casualties rising could further escalate tensions.

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Sources also told our sister channel NewsX that the Indian and the Chinese side who had met for disengagement process got into an argument which eventually escalated into a fistfight and reportedly led to pushing and shoving during which three Indian soldiers slipped into a treacherous terrain and lost their lives. Sources also told us that no bullets were fired and army officers from both were present at the spot to engage in de-escalation process. Meanwhile Defense Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the current operational situation in the region after the violent face-off along with the CDS and all three service chiefs. External affairs minister S Jaishankar was also present during the meeting. Rajnath Singh also briefed PM Modi after the violent face-off took place. While PM Modi also met the EAM to discussion the escalation in violence at Galwan valley.

China meanwhile maintained its belligerent stance and continued blaming India for the border face-off. In a statement to Global Times, Chinese Foreign minister reportedly blamed Indian troops for ‘violating consensus’ , ‘illegally crossing the border’ and ‘carrying out provocative attack on Chinese soldiers’. In the statement, China also urged India to ‘strictly restrain its frontline troops from crossing the border or taking any unilateral action that may complicate the border situation’

Sources had earlier informed us that the tensions between both sides toned down after June 6 talks between military commanders followed by other rounds of talks. Post that, there had been no considerable build-up by both sides. Limited disengagement of troops at more locations was also underway after continuous dialogue between both sides, though the latest incident seems to be adding a major roadblock to the peace process, dimming hopes of timely resolution of the issues.

Army Chief MM Naravane on Saturday had assured everyone that the entire situation along our borders is under control. He said that a series of Corps Commander level talks are underway and are being followed up with meetings at the local level between commanders of equivalent ranks. Though in the present scenario, he has canceled his scheduled Pathankot visit due to the ongoing critical situation at the borders. With Prime minister Modi being briefed about the death of the Indian Army personnel at the LAC, a final forward plan is under talks.

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