India and China clashed at the Ladakh border in Galwan Valley on Monday night in one of the worst fight between the two militaries in over five decades. Indian Army has said 20 soldiers have died and many others are injured. The Chinese army, too, has suffered heavy casualties and reports have suggested at least 40 PLA soldiers have either died or are injured in the Galwan clash. Among the casualties on the Chinese side is their commanding officer who had led the Galwan Valley operation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has held a high level meeting with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah and carried out a review of the situation in eastern Ladakh. While the Indian government has said the scuffle broke out after the Chinese military tried to “unilaterally change the status quo” in the region, the Chinese government has pinned the blame on Indian military and said soldiers from this side of the border “crossed the de facto border” for “illegal activities”, which and led to the clashes.
The troops who were part of the face-off spoke about a significant number of Chinese casualties. Although it is difficult to specify the exact number of casualties ― both killed and wounded ― the number is estimated to be much beyond 40, said sources. Sirf News had reported the killing of 43 Chinese soldiers last night.
Meanwhile in different states of India, people have erupted in protest against Chinese aggression. In Gujarat, people in Ahmedabad’s Bapu Nagar burnt photos of President of China Xi Jinping yesterday. In Varanasi, people under the banner of an NGO Vishal Bharat Sansthan burnt Chinese flag and an effigy of Xi.
On the western front, believing India to be occupied in tackling their friend China, Pakistan violated ceasefire in the Naugam sector in the late evening hours of 16 June by firing mortars and other weapons. “A befitting response was given,” Chinar Corps, Indian Army said.
Chinese aggression triggers patriotic fervour among Indians, says US media
Chinese People Liberation Army has provoked the “Indian nationalist tiger” by engaging in a face-off with Indian Army personnel in which 20 soldiers were killed, according to US media.
The violent clash that took place late evening and night of 15 June was a result of an attempt by the Chinese troops to “unilaterally change” the status quo during de-escalation.
“Beating 20 Indian soldiers to death Monday evening, China’s People’s Liberation Army has provoked the Indian nationalist tiger,” Journalist Tom Rogan wrote in an opinion piece in Washington Examiner.
Highlighting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s power flows from the nationalist base, Rogan said that Modi has skillfully redirected Indian nationalist sentiments away from their prior obsession with domestic sectarian interests and toward the idea of India as a key international player.
Rogan is of the view that PM Modi faces a distinct challenge with the recent violent clash with the PLA.
“He (PM Modi) will feel especially pressured to respond forcefully given perceptions in his Bharatiya Janata Party that he acted too timidly to a February 2019 attack by Pakistani terrorists. Adding fuel to the fire, this isn’t the first recent Chinese escalation against Indian interests,” Rogan said.
Commanding Officer of the Chinese Unit involved in the face-off with Indian troops in the Galwan Valley among those killed, Sources confirm.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh holds meeting with 3 Service Chiefs (Army, Navy & Air Force) and the Chief of Defence Staff. He also spoke to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on the current situatio, sources said.