20 Indian jawans martyred; 43 Chinese die in violent Galwan Valley face-off

Twenty Indian soldiers including a Colonel were killed in a “violent face-off” with Chinese army at Galwan Valley in Ladakh, the army said today. It is the most serious escalation at the border in the last five decades.

According to an army statement on Tuesday (June 16) evening, the Chinese troops “have disengaged” at the Galwan area where they earlier clashed on the night of June 15/16, indicating that they do not expect any fresh outbreak of violence in the area.

News agency ANI claimed that sources had confirmed 43 Chinese soldiers have been killed or seriously injured because of intercepts, the army’s statement did not refer to this.

An earlier statement had confirmed the death of a Colonel and two jawans spoke of “casualties on both sides”. India blamed the clashes on “an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo there”, rebutting China’s claims that Indian soldiers crossed the border. This is the first fatal clash since 1975 between India and China, who fought a border war in 1962. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held meetings with Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met with military chiefs twice as India discussed a response to the huge development.