(Clockwise from left) Colonel Santosh Babu, Sepoy Ojha and Havildar Palani, who were killed during a clash with Chinese troops in Ladkah on 15 June 2020 | PTI
(Clockwise from left) Colonel Santosh Babu, Sepoy Ojha and Havildar Palani, who were killed during a clash with Chinese troops in Ladkah on 15 June 2020 | PTI
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New Delhi: At least 20 Indian soldiers, including a commanding officer posted in Galwan Valley along with subedars, havildars and sepoys, were “killed in action” following a skirmish with Chinese troops Monday night.

The Indian Army initially released a statement Tuesday afternoon, noting that three officers had died in action during the violent face-off. However, later at night, the Army said 17 more soldiers had succumbed to their critical injuries since they had been exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain.

The skirmish, which took place late Monday, is the first time in 45 years that a soldier has died along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which is undefined in Ladakh.

In its statement, the Army noted that it was “firmly committed to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation”.

There has been speculation that some soldiers are missing, since some had fallen into the freezing river in the valley, but the Army neither addressed this in its statement nor mentioned the injuries or deaths sustained by the Chinese side.


Also read: India likely to review rules of engagement at LAC after Galwan Valley clash


The clash occurred after Commanding Officer Col Santosh Babu found out that Chinese soldiers did not entirely follow through on the de-escalation process agreed upon by both side during earlier talks.

ThePrint had reported that the face-off took place on a narrow slope and some soldiers fell into the confluence of the Galwan and Shyok rivers. The face-off included stone pelting and physical clashes with barbed wire and iron rods. The soldiers who fell into the river died of hypothermia.

The bodies of the soldiers were taken by a military aircraft from Leh Wednesday afternoon and will be carried by road to their respective hometowns.

The Indian Army released details of all 20 soldiers declared killed in action. Among them was Ankush, a 21-year-old sepoy born on 4 November 1998. Sepoy Ganesh Hansda was even younger at 20 years. Sepoy Kundan Kumar Ojha died just days before his 27th birthday on 18 June.

Sepoys Gurbinder, Chandan Kumar and Gurtej Singh were 22 years old, while Sepoy Rajesh Orang had just turned 26 on 5 April. Sepoy Ganesh Ram had turned 27 on 28 April and Sepoy Chandrakanta Pradhan was 28 years old.

Here is the full list of the soldiers killed

  1. Commanding Officer Colonel Bikumalla Santosh Babu from Hyderabad, Telangana
  2. Naib Subedar Nuduram Soren from Mayurbhanj, Odisha
  3. Naib Subedar Mandeep Singh from Patiala, Punjab
  4. Naib Subedar Satnam Singh (driver) from Gurdaspur, Punjab
  5. Havildar (gunner) K Palani from Madurai, Tamil Nadu
  6. Havildar Sunil Kumar from Patna, Bihar
  7. Havildar Bipul Roy from Meerut City, Uttar Pradesh
  8. Naik (Na) Deepak Kumar from Rewa, Madhya Pradesh
  9. Sepoy Rajesh Orang from Birbhum, West Bengal
  10. Sepoy Kundan Kumar Ojha from Sahibganj, Jharkhand
  11. Sepoy Ganesh Ram from Kanker, Chhattisgarh
  12. Sepoy Chandrakanta Pradhan from Kandhamal, Odisha
  13. Sepoy Ankush from Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh
  14. Sepoy Gurbinder from Sangrur, Punjab
  15. Sepoy Gurtej Singh from Mansa, Punjab
  16. Sepoy Chandan Kumar from Bhojpur, Bihar
  17. Sepoy Kundan Kumar from Saharsa, Bihar
  18. Sepoy Aman Kumar from Samastipur, Bihar
  19. Sepoy Jai Kishor Singh from Vaishali, Bihar
  20. Sepoy Ganesh Hansda from East Singhbhum, Jharkhand

Also read: ‘Will be busy for couple of days, be strong’ — wife recalls last chats with Col Santosh Babu


 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. While the caste of every other soldier is mentioned why you forgot of some particular soldiers. I don’t believe this is just a coincidence. It happens every time.

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