The Indian Army on Thursday said that 76 soldiers were injured in the violent face-off with Chinese forces in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, PTI reported. The army added that 18 soldiers, who were grievously injured in the clash, were being treated at a hospital in Leh while the remaining 58 were admitted to other hospitals. The army added that none of the soldiers were in a critical condition.
The clash between Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan Valley on Monday was the most violent incident between the two neighbouring countries in over 40 years. The incident marked a massive escalation of border tensions between India and China, which have been rising since May. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clash and there were casualties on the Chinese side too. China has, however, not given an official count of the casualties.
The army also clarified that all the soldiers had been accounted for. “It is clarified that there are no Indian troops missing in action,” the army said. The army’s clarification came after reports that some soldiers had been taken captive by China.
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Indian and Chinese officers have been holding talks in an attempt to deescalate the tensions between the two countries. On Thursday, an Indian major general and his Chinese counterpart met in Galwan Valley. They spoke on Wednesday too, but the three-hour dialogue remained inconclusive, according to reports. Another meeting is scheduled for Friday, reported The Indian Express.
Several media reports have suggested that the encounter between the Chinese and Indian armies in Galwan Valley did not involve any exchange of gunfire. Instead, the face-off was “violent hand-to-hand scuffles” in which Chinese troops hit Indian soldiers with rods and clubs.
Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Thursday denied that Indian soldiers were unarmed during the clash in Galwan Valley, saying the troops were only following the protocol to not use weapons.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to chair an all-party meeting on Friday to discuss the border situation after India and China’s border clash. On Wednesday, the prime minister had said that the sacrifice of Indian soldiers killed in the clash would not go in vain and India will give a befitting reply if instigated.
Tensions between India and China flared up in May after Chinese troops clashed with the Indian Army at several points along the Line of Actual Control. There were also reports of China pitching tents near river Galwan, which was also a flashpoint between New Delhi and Beijing during the Sino-Indian war of 1962. Both India and China had deployed additional security forces in the area amid heightened tensions.
Indian on Wednesday said that China’s claim over the Galwan Valley was “exaggerated and untenable” and contrary to the agreement between New Delhi and Beijing to responsibly resolve tensions. India has also maintained that the clash was a “pre-meditated and planned action” by China.