That bloody night at the Galwan Valley
In the month of June this year, there was a bloody clash between the Indian and Chinese soldiers at the Galwan Valley amidst the tense standoff between the two countries along the Line of Actual Control at eastern Ladakh.
20 Indian soldiers were martyred in the incident, while several Chinese soldiers were either killed or went missing.
The Chinese plotted the clash and began attacking the Indian soldiers with sticks and rods. As part of the protocol between the two sides, the forward troops patrolling the disputed border do not carry guns.
The Chinese soldiers were supposed to have withdrawn from the location under the de-escalation plan as per the discussions between the two military commanders on June 6.
However, the Indian troops found the Chinese forces in violation of the understanding.
Their observation posts and tents were still around, an official privy to the information tells OneIndia.
This is when Colonel Santosh Babu questioned the Chinese soldiers about the same, following which the clash broke out. The situation escalated and the Chinese soldiers refused to vacate and stood their ground. The Indian soldiers then removed the tents and observation posts and in a matter of minutes a violent clash broke out.
The clash which lasted 7 hours spread out quickly and the soldiers threw stones and even exchanged blows. The Chinese attacked with iron rods and nail-studded clubs. Some of the soldiers fell into the river and their bodies were retrieved the next day.
The Chinese soldiers were higher in number. There were 250 of them, while the number of Indian soldiers was lesser. Despite this the Indian soldiers insisted that the Chinese get back and the tents and observation posts be removed.
The official cited above said that going by the sequence of events, it is clear that the Chinese had pre-planned this and were all ready for a violent face-off. It was pitch dark when the fight took place and this resulted in the martyrdom of 20 Indian soldiers.
While many have questioned why the soldiers were unarmed, the rules of disengagement mandate the same. Moreover, Forward Troops patrolling the disputed border do not carry guns. Even if they do, they are slung behind their backs and the magazines are in the pouches and not clipped on.