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the big story
The face-off in Ladakh: A day #2 roundup
The TLDR: More details of the violent encounter were leaked. PM Modi made a forceful statement, and calls for an anti-China boycott grew. But for all the talk of a truce, there is now a dangerous stalemate that may irrevocably alter the India-China relationship.
Do we know more about what happened?
Yes, and none of it dramatically alters the facts.
The trouble started because of a tent in an area claimed by India. Colonel Santosh Babu and his soldiers demanded the removal of the offending tent, and burned it down.
The Indians were holding their own in the bare-handed scuffle—until Chinese reinforcements arrived, this time armed with iron rods, bamboo canes wrapped in wire, and clubs studded with nails
Badly outnumbered, the soldiers were attacked and killed. One officer speaks of the Chinese acting like “death squads”: “Even unarmed men who fled into the hillsides were hunted down and killed… The dead include men who jumped into the Galwan river in a desperate effort to escape.”
The Telegraph reports: “Indian soldiers were flung off jagged cliffs and several drowned when they fell into a river or were beaten to death with nail-studded clubs or bamboo sticks wrapped in barbed wire.”
By most accounts, Babu suffered a serious head injury—and was brought back to the base camp, where he died. The Guardian, however, reports: “Then an Indian commanding officer was pushed from the narrow ridge and fell to his death in the gorge below.”
Many of the bodies had to be recovered from the river the next day. Apart from the 20 dead, 18 Indian soldiers are in hospital with serious injuries—four of them are critical.
No, we do not have any confirmation on the number of Chinese casualties.
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