India and China have pulled back troops by at least 1 km in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control, the site of a violent clash between troops of the two countries on June 15, India Today reported on Monday citing sources. As many as 20 Indian soldiers had died in the clash, and 76 wounded. While China also lost personnel, it did not provide a figure.
The unidentified officials said the two sides have created a buffer zone. “We will need to wait to see if this is a lasting, genuine disengagement,” an official told NDTV. The Indian and Chinese sides have been engaged in meetings at both military and diplomatic levels, to address the situation and to further deescalation. The last such talks were held on July 1.
A report by NDTV had said on June 29 that Chinese troops have intruded 423 metres into Indian territory. The report claimed 16 Chinese tents and tarpaulins, one large shelter and at least 14 vehicles had been parked on the 423-metre stretch. Chinese forces were seen in large numbers in Ladakh’s Pangong Lake region, the news channel had reported.
However, earlier last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a meeting with Opposition leaders, had asserted that Chinese troops had not entered Indian territory. Modi visited Leh in Ladakh on July 3, gave a speech praising the troops and visited a hospital where injured soldiers were recuperating.
“Disengagement with the PLA [People’s Liberation Army of China] has started as per agreed terms in the Corps Commander’s meeting,” an official told the Hindustan Times, the newspaper reported on Monday. “The PLA was seen removing tents and structures at Patrolling Point 14.” Another official said that the PLA’s vehicles were also seen moving back along the “General Area Galwan, Hot Springs-Gogra Post”.