NEW DELHI: The Army on Thursday said “no
are missing in action” after the violent skirmish with Chinese troops in
the Galwan Valley
of eastern Ladakh on Monday night, discounting reports of 10
being in the captivity of the People’s Liberation Army since that day.
“It is clarified no Indian troops are missing in action. All are accounted for,” the Army said in a brief statement, without elaborating further. It came after Leh-based 3 Infantry Division commander Major General Abhijit Bapat and his Chinese counterpart held another round of talks near ‘Patrolling Point-14’ in the Galwan Valley region on Thursday.
The prolonged skirmish on Monday had erupted when PLA soldiers, who after initially pulling back a little in consonance with the de-escalation plan finalised by the rival commanders, returned to erect a ‘temporary post’ in the shape of tents near PP-14.
Colonel Santosh Babu, the commanding of 16 Bihar regiment, and two soldiers died on the spot after being attacked by PLA soldiers, who were in far greater numbers and armed with nail-studded rods and stones. The other 17 Indian jawans succumbed to their injuries later, while 18 more are currently admitted in the military hospital in
. Fifty-eight more soldiers who received minor injuries in the clash will resume duty in a week, the Army said.
There were reports after the skirmish that another 10 soldiers, including a major and a captain, were being held captive by the PLA, but the Army rejected them on Thursday.
China has remained silent on the number of its casualties in the clash, which began in the high-altitude area on Monday evening and continued till well past midnight.
Radio intercepts and other intelligence indicated that there were 43 “casualties” in the PLA ranks, which included the dead and grievously injured. Two PLA officers are said to be among the dead, as reported by TOI earlier.