The Centre has called a meeting of the military leadership to discuss the next step after the latest clash between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be meeting the three service chiefs -- Army Chief General Manoj Pande, Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, reports PTI and news television channels.Defence ministry sources said the clash in Yangtze in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh on Friday left “12 to 15” Indian soldiers and a “higher number” of Chinese injured.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar and Chief of Defence Staff Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan (retired), will also attend the meeting. Foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra and Giridhar Aramane will also be present.
Several Congress MPs demanded a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the situation at the border. Congress MPs have given adjournment notices in both houses of Parliament to discuss the border situation with China.
On Monday, defence ministry sources said that several Indian soldiers suffered fractures in Friday's violence, which took place after Chinese soldiers tried to cross over to the Indian side and were challenged by Indian troops.
The two sides first fought by hurling stones before getting engaged in hand-to-hand combat, with the Chinese using clubs fitted with nails, the sources said.
The clash is the first since the violent confrontation of June 15, 2020, in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh, where 20 Indian soldiers and at least four Chinese troopers were killed. There too the Chinese were said to have used similar clubs.
A senior defence ministry official, asking not to be quoted, had also sent journalists a carefully worded message that said both sides had suffered only “minor injuries”.
“On December 9, People’s Liberation Army troops contacted the LAC in Tawang sector, which was contested by the Indian army in a firm and resolute manner. This face-off led to minor injuries to a few personnel from both sides,” the message said.
Both sides immediately disengaged from the area. Later, the local Indian army commander held a flag meeting with his Chinese counterpart to discuss the issue in accordance with structured mechanisms “to restore peace and tranquility”.