Chinese soldiers’ attempt to change the status quo at the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang sector on December 9 by encroaching on the area led to clash with Indian troops who retaliated, Rajnath Singh told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

On Monday evening, the defence ministry had said in a statement that the clash had led to “minor injuries” to a few soldiers on both sides. After the face-off, both sides immediately disengaged from the area, according to the statement.

While the government has maintained that the soldiers sustained minor injuries, State Bharatiya Janata Party chief Tapir Gao told United Kingdom-based daily The Telegraph that six personnel were severely hurt and flown to Guwahati. He added that at least 20 Indian soldiers were wounded by Chinese troops in hand-to-hand combat.

On Tuesday, Singh reiterated the ministry’s stance that no soldier was killed and there were no serious injuries. The minister added that local commander had spoken to his Chinese counterpart on matter on December 11 to restore peace in the area.

“Due to the timely intervention of Indian military commanders, PLA [People’s Liberation Army] soldiers have retreated to their own locations,” he said, adding that the matter has been raised with China through diplomatic channels.

Singh made the statement as Opposition parties protested against the government over the clash, leading to both Houses of being adjourned till noon, ANI reported. Singh is scheduled to make a statement on the clash in the Rajya Sabha at 2 pm.

After the reports of the clash, the Opposition had castigated the Union government for allegedly trying to suppress the matter. All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi submitted a notice for adjournment in the Lok Sabha to discuss the clash on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the Congress demanded a statement on the matter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, PTI reported. Party MP Manish Tewari has given an adjournment notice on the matter in the Lok Sabha, while Randeep Surjewala and Syed Nasir Hussain have given similar notices in the Rajya Sabha.

Meanwhile, the Congress walked out of the Rajya Sabha in protest after it was barred from seeking clarifications on Singh’s statement, PTI reported. Deputy Chairman Harivansh said that due to the sensitive nature of the subject, no questions seeking clarifications would be permitted.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge claimed that the Opposition had been told by the Leader of the Upper House Piyush Goyal and the deputy chairman that it would be given a chance to seek clarifications, ANI reported. He said that the deputy’s chairman’s decision to not allow them was not good for the country.

“When they did not give us clarification, all leaders of the opposition parties decided to stage a walkout,” Kharge said. “We stand together for the unity and integrity of our country, we are with our soldiers.”

Members of the Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Shiv Sena, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha also walked out of the House.

Meanwhile, China on Tuesday said that the situation along the border with India is generally stable but refused to divulge any more details about the clash, reported PTI.

“We hope the Indian side will work with us in the same direction and smoothly deliver the important common understanding reached by leaders of both sides,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday. “And act strictly on the spirit of relevant bilateral agreements signed by both sides and jointly preserve peace and tranquility in the border areas.”

The clashes in Tawang is the first such incident since Indian and Chinese troops faced off in the Galwan Valley in East Ladakh in June 2020.

Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clash. China had put the number of casualties on its side at four. In September, the two sides agreed to disengage at Patrolling Pillar (15) in the Gogra-Hotspring border area in Ladakh after a consensus was reached in the 16th round of military talks.

In October 2021, the Indian Army had detained some soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army after they engaged in a minor clash near the Yangtse area in Tawang.