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Tense standoff continues along the LAC

An IAF helicopter flying over mountains surrounding Leh on Sunday.ANIANI

An IAF helicopter flying over mountains surrounding Leh on Sunday.ANIANI  

Despite Corps Commander talks, troops are in eyeball-to-eyeball positions

A week after the Corps Commander-level talks in the wake of the June 15 Galwan incident when 20 jawans personnel were killed, both Indian and Chinese troops continue in “eyeball-to-eyeball” positions at all the friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.

The China Study Group (CSG), headed by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, met on Saturday to discuss the prevailing situation along the LAC. The CSG is an informal group constituted in 1997, comprising the Cabinet Secretary, the Secretaries of Defence and Home, the Army chief and the Director of Intelligence Bureau, among others. The details of the meeting were not known.

A senior government official told The Hindu that an analysis of the medical reports of the 20 men killed showed the cause of death in most cases was a “mix of head injury and drowning”. The bodies were retrieved from Galwan river. “As many as 15 deceased personnel had head injuries, one or two had injuries on the chest and remaining had shoulder and knee injuries. Their bodies were badly bruised as they had toppled into the river,” said the official.

At least 75 personnel, who were injured in the incident, had “blunt injuries” on head, chest and back, inflicted by rods.

‘Premeditated action’

The Ministry of External Affairs had issued a statement that the “Chinese side took premeditated and planned action that was directly responsible for the resulting violence and casualties”.

As reported earlier, the violent clashes took place on June 15 after Colonel Santosh Babu, who was commanding the unit, dismantled a tent erected by the Chinese and set it on fire. Col. Babu was among the Army personnel killed.

Officials said the understanding to remove the tent in Galwan Valley was taken at a meeting on June 6 between the two armies. The official said after the tent was removed on June 15 evening, Col. Babu went to patrol the area with a small team.

“When the team arrived there late in the evening, the violent reaction from the Chinese should have been anticipated and factored in,” the official said.

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