Indian army soldiers rest next to artillery guns at a makeshift transit camp before heading to Ladakh, near Baltal, southeast of Srinagar, June 16, 2020. (Reuters Photo/File)
The Major General-level talks between India and China in the wake of the violent faceoff in Ladakh’s Galwan valley ended on an inconclusive note on Wednesday. This was the second meeting between GOC 3 Division and his Chinese counterpart at PP14 on the Line of Actual Control.
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The latest development comes even as External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, in a phone conversation earlier today, “agreed that the overall situation would be handled in a responsible manner, and both sides would implement the disengagement understanding of 6 June sincerely”. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), in a statement, said, “Neither side would take any action to escalate matters and instead, ensure peace and tranquillity as per bilateral agreements and protocols.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meanwhile, said the sacrifices of soldiers along the border “will not go in vain”. He has called for an all-party meeting at 5 pm on Friday, June 19 to discuss the situation along the India-China border. Presidents of various political parties are expected to take part in the virtual meeting.
20 Armymen killed fighting back China in Ladakh's Galwan area, along the LAC; Foreign ministers hold talks. Read highlights in Tamil, Malayalam and Bangla
People stand by the banks of the Pangong Lake, near the India-China border in Ladakh. (AP Photo: Channi Anand)
In the first loss of lives on the disputed India-China border in at least 45 years, the Army has lost one officer and two soldiers in a violent faceoff in the Galwan Valley last night.
“During the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place yesterday night (Monday night) with casualties on both sides,” Army said in an official statement.
“The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers,” it added. The statement also said that “senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting at the venue to defuse the situation”.
Tensions between the two armies have been running high on the border since reports of a scuffle between the soldiers of both sides at Pangong Tso (eastern Ladakh) and Naku la (in Sikkim) came in early last month. Both the armies have since mobilized and deployed a large number of soldiers and heavy military equipment along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The last deaths on the India-China border were in 1975 when an Indian patrol was ambushed by the Chinese soldiers on the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh. A violent clash between the two sides on the border had taken place at Nathu La in 1967.
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