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A year after Galwan clashes, cold desert remains calm

20 slain Army men of Galwan remembered on their first anniversary

Ladakh, June 15, 2021: A year after the violent Galwan Valley clash between the armies of India and China, the situation in cold desert Ladakh has been under control and there is peace prevailing on both sides with Delhi maintaining that “full disengagement has begun”, even as Army on Tuesday paid tributes to the 20 slain Army men who were killed in Chinese aggression on this day in 2020 in Galwan Valley in Leh.

According to a statement issued to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), Fire and Fury Corps paid homage to the slain soldiers of Galwan on the first anniversary of the violent clash on 15 June 2021.

“In the face of unprecedented Chinese aggression, 20 Indian Soldiers laid down their lives defending our land and inflicted heavy casualties on the PLA,” the statement said.

In a solemn ceremony, Major General Akash Kaushik, COS, Fire and Fury Corps, laid a wreath at the iconic War Memorial in Leh on the occasion.

The nation will remain eternally grateful to these gallant soldiers who fought in the most difficult high altitude terrain and made the supreme sacrifice in service of the nation, the statement said.

On June 15 last year, the Indian troops pushed back the PLA soldiers and prevented them from entering into Indian Territory and suffered a loss of 20 soldiers who were killed in a deadly clash at Galwan valley.

The tensions between the two countries started in late April last year after China attempted to change the status quo forcing India to counter the action following which both sides held several rounds of talks to resolve the pending issues related to Line of Actual Control (LAC) soon after armies engaged into a violent faceoff.

Immediately after the violent faceoff between the two armies, a massive troop buildup was done besides all the required arrangements were ensured for the troops deployed in eastern Ladakh by the Indian government.

In its annual report, the defence ministry in January in the ensuing year said that unilateral and provocative actions by the Chinese to change the status quo by force, in more than one area on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) were responded to in a firm and non-escalator way, ensuring the sanctity of our claims in eastern Ladakh

“The PLA escalated the situation by utilization of unorthodox weapons and amassing a large number of troops adding that the Indian Army with assistance from IAF mobilized troops including accretionary forces in a very short duration including heavy equipment like guns, tanks, and also ammunition, rations, and clothing,” the report had stated.

The report maintained that the Chinese also suffered significant casualties. Later on 28-29 August 2020, own troops in a precautionary deployment, pre-empted Chinese expansionist designs, and occupied heights along the southern bank of Pangong Tso.

On February 11, while addressing the parliament regarding the situation in eastern Ladakh, the defence minister of India said that a complete disengagement he began at Pangong TSO lake and not an inch of Indian territory will be given away to anyone.

“We have demanded solution on three points that include both sides must accept the LAC and regard that, no side can unilaterally attempt to change the status quo and all decisions must be adhered to fully”, he said in the address to the upper house.

Giving the border-related details Defence Minister had stated: “China has occupied 38,000 square kilometers of Indian territory since 1962 in Ladakh, moreover, Pakistan handed over 5180 kilometers of land to them in Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PaK) as a result China has illegally occupied around 43,000 kilometers of Indian territory.”

He maintained that India has never accepted the unjustified illegal occupation of China.

As per the official statements issued by the government since last year several rounds of talks were held between the two sides at both diplomatic and military levels to resolve the matters related to the LAC.

Notably, the cold desert since then has not reported as such clash between the two sides since that was after at least 45 years when armies of both countries engaged in a standoff resulting in casualties. A senior defence official posted in Leh, told KNO that peace is prevailing on both sides and the disengament is in full swing. “No untoward incident has taken place since past one year,” he said, wishing not to be named.

Meanwhile, the Fire and Fury Corps paid homage to the martyrs of Galwan on the first anniversary of the violent clash on 15 June 2021—(KNO)

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