Talks over disengagement to continue as China releases 10 Indian soldiers
New Delhi: After the release of 10 Indian Army personnel, including four officers, from Chinese People's Liberation Army captivity, the process of disengagement of troops will continue next week, sources said.
The dialogue will take place to ensure that the Chinese PLA pulls back all its troops from the Galwan valley and removes all the military-grade tents which housed its troops.
The Indian Army personnel were released after relentlessly hectic negotiations with the PLA for three consecutive days.
These soldiers, held captive after a barbaric fight unleashed by Chinese troops, were released on Thursday afternoon.
The Indian Army on Thursday evening said that there are no soldiers "missing in action" during a violent clash with Chinese People's Liberation Army at Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) also said no Indian Army personnel were missing or not accounted for.
The statement was made after 10 Indian soldiers were held in captivity from Monday night onwards were released.
It was the Major General-level dialogue between both the militaries for three days that paved way for release of the Indian soldiers. It is, however, not clear what led to the Indians being taken captive by the Chinese.
The clash occurred at the South bank of Galwan river, which flows in an east-west direction before its confluence with Shayok river, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.
These were the first casualties faced by the Indian Army in a clash with the Chinese PLA since 1975 when an Indian patrol was ambushed by Chinese troops in Arunachal Pradesh.
Sources said the Indian Army troops were outnumbered by a 1:5 ratio when they came under attack from the Chinese PLA soldiers at patrolling point number 14 in Ladakh on the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh.
China's PLA troopers "savagely attacked" Indian Army personnel, according to sources in the government with knowledge of the details of the Monday night clashes between the two sides.
"The numbers were stacked up against the Indian Army troopers. Yet, the Indian side decided to fight the PLA troops. The Indian soldiers were outnumbers 1:5 by the Chinese troops," the sources said on Wednesday.
China is also said to have used thermal imaging drones to trace the Indian Army soldiers scattered on the treacherous terrain before brutally attacking them.
"It was the deadliest attack carried on Indian Army personnel by the Chinese military personnel to our memory," the government sources said.
"We were outnumbered," admitted an Indian Army officer, talking about the clash that went on for six to seven hours.
The Indian Army said its soldiers went to the spot where the clashes happened without any animosity and were displaying friendly gestures to the Chinese side when they were there to check if the de-escalation agreement was being followed as promised.
Several Indian Army soldiers are currently "critically injured" and are undergoing treatment.