In a major escalation of tensions between India and China, an Indian Army officer and two soldiers were killed in a violent face-off on Monday night during de-escalation process in Galwan Valley, one of the flashpoint leading to standoff in eastern Ladakh region.
Senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting at the venue to defuse the situation, India Army sources were quoted as saying by ANI.
As per reports, the soldiers were not shot but were killed in hand-to-hand combat on Indian territory.
Meanwhile, Beijing has accused Indian soldiers of “crossing the border and attacking Chinese personnel”, according to an AFP report.
China’s Foreign Ministry said it called on India to not take unilateral actions or stir up trouble.
Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane had on Saturday assured that the entire situation along India’s borders with China is “under control”.
General Naravane said both the sides are having a series of talks which started with Corps Commander-level talks and is being followed up with meetings at the local level between commanders of equivalent ranks.
Earlier on Friday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reportedly held a review meeting with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and the three Service Chiefs to understand the ground situation. It was the second review meeting of the Defence Minister within a week. The first was on June 8, two days after the Lieutenant General-level meeting between the two countries.
Several areas along the LAC in Ladakh and North Sikkim have witnessed major military build-up by both the Indian and Chinese armies recently, in a clear signal of escalating tension and hardening of respective positions by the two sides even two weeks after they were engaged in two separate face-offs.
The nearly 3,500-km-long LAC is the de-facto border between the two countries.
Indian and Chinese troops have remained engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation in several areas along the LAC in eastern Ladakh, signalling that the standoff could become the biggest military face-off after the Doklam crisis in 2017.