India and China on Monday night engaged in the first deadly clash in at least 45 years. As per statements by the Indian Army, the violent clash at Galwan Valley started between Indian troops and soldiers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) on the night of June 15.
According to India Today, a team led by Colonel Santosh Babu of 16 Bihar Regiment set out to hold a discussion with the Chinese side on June 15 as PLA troops were not returning back to their territory as per their commitment. During this discussion, the Chinese PLA deliberately aggravated the situation. They eventually attacked the Indian delegation with sticks, stones and clubs wrapped in barbed wire.
The Colonel and his personnel suffered injuries during the clash. The Indian side later retaliated, resulting in heavy casualties.
Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in clash with Chinese forces. The Indian Army added that 17 Indian troops who were critically injured in the line of duty, later died. On the other hand, China has not confirmed any casualties but has accused India of crossing the border and launching provocative attack against Chinese personnel. Both sides have said no shots were fired.
Senior Colonel Zhang Shuili, spokesperson of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Western Theater Command has asked India to "strictly restrain its frontline troops, stop all provocative actions, meet the Chinese side halfway and return to the correct path of solving disputes via dialogue".
Indian Army will soon release the names of all 20 soldiers who were killed in Galwan Valley. According to India Today TV, nothing much has come out of the talks from both sides. Indian Army is still on standby across the LAC.
On the other side the United Nations Secretary-General has urged both India and China to deescalate the violence and come to a solution. The UN body said, "We're concerned about reports of violence and deaths at Line of Actual Control between India and China & urge both sides to exercise maximum restraint. We take positive note of reports that the two countries have engaged to deescalate the situation."
US State Department paid condolence to the families of 20 Indian soldiers that died in yesterday's clash. The US said, "We are closely monitoring the situation between Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control. We note the Indian military has announced that 20 soldiers have died, and we offer our condolences to their families. Both India and China have expressed a desire to de-escalate, and we support a peaceful resolution of the current situation".
The tension in LAC started in early May when India accused China of sending thousands of troops into Ladakh's Galwan Valley. India said that China had occupied 38,000sq km (14,700sq miles) of its territory. Thereafter, the armies of both sides clashed with each other.
There have been several confrontations between India and China in the past. However, the two countries have fought only one war so far -- in 1962.