Galwan Valley clash: 20 Indian soldiers killed in face-off with China - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

Home Top Ad


Tuesday 16 June 2020

Galwan Valley clash: 20 Indian soldiers killed in face-off with China

First deadly clash on disputed border since 1975

Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 17th June 20

In a steep escalation of the on-going Sino-Indian border face-off in eastern Ladakh, soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) attacked and killed 20 Indian soldiers, including a colonel on Monday night.

This is the first deadly clash on the 3,488-kilometre disputed border since four Assam Rifles jawans were ambushed and killed by Chinese border guards in October 1975.

In a statement on Tuesday morning, the army said: “During the de-escalation process under way 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.”

Late on Tuesday evening, another statement from the army said: “17 Indian troops who were critically injured in the line of duty at the stand-off location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain have succumbed to their injuries, taking the total that were killed in action to 20.”

The statement also said: “Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged at the Galwan area where they had earlier clashed on the night of 15/16 June 2020.”

There were unconfirmed reports that five PLA soldiers were also killed in the clash. The Indian statement mentioned casualties “on both sides”. 

Senior officers recounted extreme Chinese brutality to the Indian prisoners, with some of them being pushed over cliffs and soldiers’ bodies being recovered from the Galwan River.

Sources say the clash occurred on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the vicinity of Patrolling Point 14 (PP 14), when some 300 PLA soldiers attacked a group of about 50 Indian soldiers.

Army sources deny that firearms were used. The casualties apparently occurred in brutal hand-to-hand fighting with clubs and staves.

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson in Beijing blamed Indian troops for the clash, claiming that they had illegally crossed the border twice on Monday and attacked Chinese soldiers. He said Beijing had “lodged strong protests” but continued to work toward resolving tensions.

Meanwhile, senior government sources say the Chinese troops who had intruded into Indian-claimed and patrolled territory last month continue building their defences, notwithstanding talk about de-escalation and disengagement.

In the Pangong Tso sector Chinese troops continue to occupy the area up to Finger 4, which includes 8 kms of Indian-claimed territory between Finger 8 – which is the Indian version of the LAC – and Finger 4.

In the Galwan River sector, the PLA still occupies the area up to PP 15 and PP 17 and the heights overlooking the Galwan valley.

Reports are also emerging that Chinese troops have entered the Depsang area, which lies to the north of Galwan, in the Daulat Beg Oldi sector. Here they have reportedly secured the areas up to PP 12 and PP 13. 

This could mean that the Indian Army has one more sector to safeguard, besides the Galwan and Pangong sectors where the PLA earlier encroached, and the Harsil sector in Uttarakhand, where the PLA has also built up troops. Depsang is the same sector where India and China saw tensions in 2013.

The current crisis began in end-April when Indian intelligence reported Chinese troop buildups across the LAC. However, the Indian army chose not to deploy a countervailing force because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Consequently, the army was taken by surprise when a large Chinese force crossed the LAC into the Galwan and Pangong Tso areas in late April.

While clashes between Indian and PLA patrols are not unusual at this time of the year, there were indications even before Monday that the current confrontation was a departure from the normal. First, the PLA had encroached into areas like Galwan that were traditionally peaceful. Second, they entered in unusually large numbers that were in the thousands. 

Finally, this was clearly not a temporary occupation of disputed territory of the kind that took place in Depsang in 2013, or in Chumar in 2014. This time the PLA soldiers are digging defences, preparing bunkers and deployed artillery guns to the rear (albeit in their own territory) to support the intruders, say the sources.

The PLA intrusions into Ladakh do not appear to be a localised event, being spread across a frontage of 2,000 kms, including the area of responsibility of different PLA brigades and divisions. That suggests centralised coordination at the higher military and political levels.



    A junior officer if he finds his soldiers being bludgeoned to death before his eyes, then he opens fire, full stop. Weapons the army has trained you for, are there to be used to kill the enemy, equally a soldier is expected to use his weapon to defend himself.
    Why was something like this NOT anticipated, particularly since we come close to a situation like this a few weeks ago. An order that in all circumstances NOT to fire, on the enemy is daft.
    This was allowed to happen by Army HQ and they are culpable, given what happened in past confrontations with the PLA, any fool could see that there was a clear possibility of this happening.
    This is absurd - COAS should have insisted that the role of the Army is to fight with deadly force with guns (the first time clubs and stones were used by the Chinese) he should not have accepted these no fire instructions.
    Sam Manekshaw and Generals from that era would not have stood up to this nonsense, neither would commanders from the British and U.S. armies.
    The politicians would have been told to take a high jump, Either the army uses deadly force or the political establishment comes up with their own diplomatic alternate solution.
    Our soldiers are not there to perform as street gangs and use clubs and fisticuffs.
    Our Generals it seems , did meekly go along with our political masters, they did not stand up for the safety and honour of our soldiers and have got officer and jawans unnecessarily killed.

  2. NSR says ---

    The barbarian chinese used stones, iron rods, and nail studded sticks to kill a Colnel Santosh Babu who is from my home state of Telangana and 19 of his soldiers...

    The barbarians has crossed all the red lines...

    These thieving and salami slicing chinese has been using what is known as two steps forward and then one step backwards during lengthy negotiations...
    In so doing they will salami slice one step worth of Indian lands...
    This is chinese modus operandi...

    After killing a Colnel and 19 of his soldiers, not any amount of consolation will help except responding resolutely and get two Colnels or Brigadiers dead bodies, and two chinese soldiers for every Indian soldier murdered...
    Do not forget to throw them in the river so they will not find their bodies...
    The brazen behavior of china and its soldiers have crossed all Rubicons..

    It is a golden opportunity for India to hit back hard as the whole world hates the chinese and their gift of chinese wuhan virus pandemic to the world...

    Come winter, they can't stay there so hit back so hard that they will not be around at all...

    Jai Hind...

    PS: I hope and pray that Colnel Shukla stops posting his columns in SCMP and other chinese media organs..

  3. Chinese side casualty is above 40 that's what media outlets are saying and why are you saying only 5 if you do not know the clear picture why post???

    1. I did some research into the so called US intelligence input regarding the 30+ Chinese soldiers that got hurt and killed. The origin of that claim comes from a website that specializes in University rankings. Nothing from the horse's mouth, everyone is claiming it comes from some source, god only knows what this source is.

  4. Sir,
    Yours has been the ONLY voice that has not sugar-coated since past week,(Chinese refusal to discuss Galwan), while everyone was positioning that Pangong Tso is the real challenge, while Hot Springs/Galwan are 'done deals'.

  5. Immediately Close down the Chinese Consulate General in Kolkata. CCP's penetration is much deeper in W. Bengal.

  6. For how long will the PM of INDIA keep on lying about the killing of Chinese troops. I literally feel shamed by this cowardly act of modi. The killing of our jawans will go into vain if modi keeps on spreading fake news just to protect his political image. This is injustice to every indian soldier who lost his life while fighting for the country . All modi cares is his image and has thus bought the entire media to spread fake news and get public support. This is absurd, all this will do is deteriorate indian Army's reputation in the eyes of enemy . SHAME ON YOU MODI

  7. It is indeed an unusual situation and definitely there is failure of someone not informing in advance or not giving correct orders. Intelligence agencies have failed in giving the strength, ITBP has failed in informing the local commanders of the seriousness of the situation. In any case such huge build up cannot come up overnight in the affected areas, it takes some time and we all know about it. It is surprising that over 50 men went into a clash and not a single weapon was carried. Something is amiss somewhere. Some heads must role. One can say a lot but am constrained due to my background.
    My heartfelt homages to the fallen soldiers and wish the unit gets its act together for the future.

  8. Abuji indiawale17 June 2020 at 03:21

    Why are we purchasing advanced rifles, investing in Brahmos,purchased BAe guns etc etc when we are determined to face the belligerent and tyrrant enemy with hand and spoken words. My salute to our soldiers but would have been prout to see that thay had used all kinds of weaponry. If we are under impression that by not using bullets and shells, we can safeguard ourselves from PLA retribution, we are wrong. Whether you fire millions of bullets on Chinese or give them Parle G biscuit, they can't change. So my dear army, please take lesson and fire as much as you can. Our best wishes and God blessings are with you. Don't talk to dog eaters, kick them like dogs.

  9. It is really baffling - the weapons of engagement are stones and rods, and probably knives which is not mentioned anywhere ?

  10. Sir how did you get this intel, even our Army deny this, can you pls disclose your source

  11. Colonel Shukla do you see this escalating into full-fledged war ?

  12. Sir, some reports also states that many of our soldiers are missing in action.

    What's your stand on this?

  13. this was expected to come after modi bypassed UN resolutions and snatched away Kashmir independence. If India can alter a UN sanctioned disputed region and annex it unilaterally then it cannot raise hue and cry over some other country doing same thing. If might is right for india is ok the it should be ready to face another might

  14. Sir,
    According to your sources how many causalities in the Chinese side?

  15. This news everybody knows that 20 Indian soldiers died, ....... Do you know whether the Chinese post where the meeting was in progress and which also overlooks the newly built road was destroyed or not. Chinese came prepared for war with not guns but baseball bats wrapped with razor sharp wire. Alas, they lost badly and ran away.

  16. ऐसा लगता है कि चीन के टेंट हटाने के लिए या गश्त पर निकली भारतीय सेना की टुकड़ी को चीनी सेना ने घेरकर हमला किया। इस दौरान कर्नल और दो शहीद जवानों को बुरी तरह घायल कुछ जवान किसी तरह निकालकर भारतीय कैम्प में लाये। जबकि 17 जवान चारों तरफ से चीन सेना के घेरे में फंस गए। संघर्ष में उनकी जान चली गयी। इन जवानों के पार्थिव शरीर लेने के किये दोनों ओर के अधिकारी स्तर की वार्ता हुई और मंगलवार की शाम को चीन ने इनके शव भारतीय सेना को सौंपे। इसके बाद ही भारतीय सेना ने इनको शहीद घोषित किया। यानी मौके पर चीन का कब्ज़ा बरकरार है।

  17. Can Ajay Shukla/ anyone disclose,how could d latter rearguard action by Major & others,could kill even 20+ PLA chaps(300) with barbed wire bats,w/o wpns or they were with wpns behind following-up d 50 hours ?

  18. Firstly condolence to all the men who laid down their lives for Maha Bharat...RIP
    Call the PLA barbarians or whatever, this is a conflict between two armies. To think that people will play by rules is a grave error of judgement. You know what the PLA are like- why all the surprises now,
    Sometime down the line, some survivors of this episode, after they have long retired will want to write about what really transpired during these two nights of horror. '20 causalities on the Indian side and over 40 on the Chinese', the Indian media would have us believe Brings some respectability to the IA but reading in between the lines it would appear that the Indians faujis were the victims.
    ' We were outnumbered', if so why did you leap before you looked. Intelligence should have alerted the approximate PLA troop numbers and their strength. You get public sympathy , 'poor chaps' but fools tread in where angels fear. Going to check whether the PLA have left their bunkers without adequate back up - you are asking for trouble. Not even bayonets on your side. Did not expect the unexpected - cardinal failure for wafare.
    I have seen several video clips of the verbal confrontations between IA and PLA.Kudos to the Indian side for remaining composed but dare I say that they were prepared for an unexpected attack- probably not. The Chinese spokesman had lost his cool and his interpreter could barely keep up.The communication was conducted through English translation.This could have been staged and I suspect that the spokesman/ official knew English but pretended otherwise, a game well played across communist countries.How many in the IA speaks Mandarin? Somethng to think about- not that it should be blurted out but helps.
    On another clip, it was a PLA armoured vehicle in the midst of the IA faujis and the latter were using shields and stones to fight against a thick armour- it seemed so absurd. 'Maro, Maro, and curses', familiar words one hears when there has been an road accident in India and they are out to get the driver whether it was his fault or not. The herd mentality takes over but have the faujis got what is takes. Now to generalize, Indians are generally bigger than the Chinese barring the Gurkhas and other minorities. When shooting they become easier targets with a bigger body mass- an advantage that the Viets used in the hit and run warfare with the Americans. But when it comes to tussle and shoving, they should have been on equal terms.Did any PLA soldiers get thrown into the river? Yes, demography favors the PLA as most of them comes from cold areas while the IA faujis are mainly from the plains. But how many of the IA faujis can swim? You don't die immediately from hyperthermia upon hitting the water no matter how cold it is. There is a time lag.
    Is there a mentality block on the IA because of what happened in 1962? Are the PLA given a larger than life invincibility? Consider what the Japanese did to them in the WW2 and how in 1979 how ' little Vietnam' held them up.Size does not matter. PLA did not bring guns to fight this time but used the stick and rocks effectively- caught in a surprise again? could ago on.... but will stop

  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Recent Posts

Page 1 of 10412345...104Next >>Last