In a tussle that ensued between the Indian and Chinese forces in Galwan Valley on Monday night, a Colonel-rank Indian Army officer and two soldiers were killed.
“During the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place yesterday night with casualties on both sides. The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers. Senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting at the venue to defuse the situation,” the Indian Army said in a statement.
On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson alleged Indian troops seriously violated the consensus of the two sides by illegally crossing the border twice and carrying out provocative attacks on Chinese soldiers, resulting in serious physical clashes.
“China and Indian side agreed to resolve the bilateral issues through dialogue to ease the border situation and maintain peace and tranquility in border areas,” Zhao added.
According to the Indian media, no bullets were fired in the clash. Clubs and stones were instead used to attack soldiers.
The Indian and Chinese armies have been locked in an over five-week standoff in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie in Eastern Ladakh. Tensions have flared up in the last few days resulting in both sides deploying military equipment.
"Since the Doklam standoff with India in 2017, the Chinese military has expanded its arsenal with weapons like the Type 15 tank, Z-20 helicopter and Wing Loong II (GJ-2) combat drone that should give China the advantage in high-altitude conflicts should they arise,” Chinese military analysts were quoted as saying by Global Times earlier this month.
China conducted a ‘troop transport exercise’ near the border and has reportedly deployed towed artillery, at least 16 camouflaged military tanks, gun emplacements and other equipment near Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de-facto border between the two countries.
India on the other hand, is said to have employed surveillance drones and reinforced military facilities in the area as a precaution.