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India-China standoff: Chinese delayed handing over wounded Indian troops after clash

India-China border clash: Over the next three days, hectic negotiations took place to ensure that the 10 army men were returned back safely. A source said that the Chinese side cited procedures and asked for some more time

Abhishek Bhalla | June 25, 2020 | Updated 17:01 IST
India-China standoff: Chinese delayed handing over wounded Indian troops after clash 
India-China clash news: Chinese delayed returning Indian soldiers

After the savage clash took place on June 15, Indian and Chinese armies ventured into each other's territories to look for the wounded. In some cases, they ended up identifying the mortal remains. Both the sides spent long hours trying to identify their soldiers through the night. Once the search was over the Indians handed over around a dozen Chinese soldiers within hours. However, the Chinese kept delaying the same.

The Chinese took close to 24 hours to send back over 50 Indian soldiers who were on their side after the clash. According to some accounts, one of the soldiers that India returned was an injured Colonel.

"Some had minor injuries, and some seriously wounded," the source added. The handover was not immediate from the Chinese side. They decided to hold back 10 soldiers, including four officers, according to sources privy to the details.

Over the next three days, hectic negotiations took place to ensure that the 10 army men were returned back safely. "The Chinese army never denied having them. They accepted that they have our men, always assuring they are safe but kept delaying handing them over," said a source.

A source said that the Chinese side cited procedures and asked for some more time to keep things hanging on some pretext or another.

There were General-level talks between China and the two armies on June 16, 17 and 18 before the men were set free on June 18. Neither India nor China have officially said that 10 Indian Army soldiers were in PLA's custody.

On June 18, the Indian Army said that none of the soldiers were missing in action and all were accounted for.

Once the soldiers were returned, the two countries got back to discuss disengagement further. 

Also read: Now, India throws the gauntlet! Imports from China held up at ports since June 22

Also read: India-China conflict: Power firms nudged to exit Chinese contracts

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