Tawang Clash: Indian, Chinese Soldiers Engage in Face-off, suffered injuries

13 December, 2022 | Pranay Lad

Tawang Headlines

The LAC confrontation on December 9 resulted in 20 Indian forces suffering minor injuries; commanders from both sides convene a flag meeting to resolve the situation and restore calm.

After engaging in combat along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh on December 9, Indian and Chinese forces suffered “minor injuries,” the Army reported on Monday evening. The conflict at Yangtse was covered by The Hindu earlier in the day. According to numerous sources, there were about 20 Indian soldiers injured and significantly more Chinese forces.

“On December 9, 2022, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops made contact with the LAC in the Tawang area, which was vigorously resisted by its own troops. Several servicemen from both sides suffered minor injuries due to this confrontation, the Army said in a statement following the incident. “Both sides quickly withdrew from the region.”

Following the incident, Commanders from both sides in the affected areas had a Flag Meeting to discuss the matter in accordance with formal procedures to reestablish calm and harmony, according to the Army. According to the report, the LAC in the Tawang sector has certain spots where there are different perceptions, and both sides monitor the area up to their respective claim lines. The Army stated that this had been the pattern since 2006.

After the incident on June 15, 2020, when 20 Indian soldiers were killed and numerous more were hurt during fierce skirmishes with the PLA troops in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh, this is the first incident of its kind.

One Army source stated that “injuries on the Chinese side were substantially higher than on the Indian side,” adding that the fight took place as a sizable PLA patrol crossed into the Indian side. It has been learned that there were at least three separate Indian Army troops present during the encounter.

Another source claims that a few soldiers who were injured in the skirmish had damaged limbs, and they are reportedly recovering in a hospital in Guwahati. According to the source, there was about 600 PLA personnel present during the fighting.

This is not the first time that Chinese and Indian forces have engaged in combat in this part of Arunachal Pradesh. As a result of the ambiguity of the border, Indian and Chinese soldiers frequently clash while policing the region. A similar event occurred in October 2021 when the Indian Army briefly arrested some Chinese soldiers from a big patrol unit after they got into a minor altercation near Yangtse.

The Army has greatly improved firepower and infrastructure along the LAC in the Tawang sector during the past few years, and comparable work is being done throughout the remainder of Arunachal Pradesh (RALP).

This comprises improvements to the Upper Dibang Valley region’s road infrastructure, bridges, tunnels, habitat and other storage facilities, aviation facilities, and communications and surveillance upgrades.

A media outlet claimed earlier that the pattern of PLA patrols had changed, with large-size patrols now showing up to stake their claim. Chinese bases had historically been located far further away from the LAC until the 2020 conflict in eastern Ladakh.

According to earlier statements made by officials, the majority of breaches over the past few years have occurred in the western sector, while transgressions in the eastern and centre sectors are on the rise. The western (Ladakh), middle (Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand), Sikkim, and eastern (Arunachal Pradesh) parts of the LAC are separated from one another.

India and China have been stationed near to each other for more than two years along the vague LAC in eastern Ladakh. There are certain locations where the standoff has been defused via multiple rounds of diplomatic and military negotiations, becoming no-patrolling zones, but there are other locations where the tension is still rising.