New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a second meeting with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Bipin Rawat and Indian Army chief, Gen. M.M. Naravane at his residence on Tuesday over prevailing volatile situation in eastern Ladakh.
On Monday night, three Indian soldiers, including an officer, were killed during a violent face-off with Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops at patrolling point number 14 at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh region at Line of the Actual Control.
The Chinese side, too, faced casualties. However, the details and numbers of soldiers are yet to be ascertained.
Before the second round of meetings, Rajnath Singh had briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the prevailing situation in Ladakh.
Earlier in the day, he held a meeting with Jaishankar, General Rawat and three service chiefs at his South Block office to review the current situation.
These are the first casualties faced by the Indian Army in a clash with the Chinese troops since 1975 when an Indian patrol was ambushed by Chinese troops in Arunachal Pradesh.
Rajnath Singh had asked the service chiefs to explain the current situation at the Galwan Valley and also what course of action can be taken hereafter.
Gen Naravane was to visit Kashmir on Tuesday morning but following the Monday night developments, his journey was cancelled.
An army source said: “The Defence Minister reviewed the current operational situation in eastern Ladakh, consequent to Monday’s violent faceoff on the Line of Actual Control, along with the Chief of Defence Staff and the three service Chiefs. The External Affairs Minister was also present during the meeting.”
An Indian Army Colonel, the Commanding Officer of an infantry battalion, and two soldiers were killed, said the Army, adding that no shots were fired from during the violent clash.
The Army, in a fresh statement, also said that during the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place on Monday night with “casualties on both sides”.
How many Chinese soldiers were killed is yet to be ascertained.
Senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting to defuse the situation. A Major General-level meeting between two militaries is going on after Chinese requested it early in the morning.
On Monday, a Brigade Commander and company level talks happened in eastern Ladakh between India and China. The talks were happening near patrolling point 14 near the mouth of Galwan Valley and patrolling point 17 at Hot Spring Area.