The 20 Indian soldiers led by Col B Santosh Babu who were killed in the fierce clash with Chinese troops in Galwan valley on the intervening night of June 15-16 suffered serious injuries apparently inflicted by sharp-edged weapons, and multiple fractures, sources said.
The Indian soldiers fought back valiantly, and inflicted several casualties on the Chinese. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said on June 17 that “Desh ko iss baat ka garv hoga ki hamaare sainik maarte maarte mare hain (The nation would be proud that our soldiers have died fighting).”
The hand-to-hand combat between the soldiers on steep and jagged terrain continued for several hours. A number of Indian soldiers died due to drowning/cold, apparently after they were thrown or fell into the river during the clash, it is learnt.
“From the condition of the bodies of the martyred soldiers, it appeared that they had fought a fierce battle. It appeared that they [Indian soldiers] killed many [Chinese]. The injuries looked like multiple stab wounds inflicted with sharp-edged weapons, and several of them also had multiple limb fractures,” a doctor at Leh’s Sonam Nurboo Memorial (SNM) Hospital, who had seen the bodies, said on condition of anonymity.
As reported in The Indian Express, from the conversation with the wounded soldiers who were brought to the hospital in Leh, it appeared that the Indian soldiers went at the Chinese with everything they had after their Commanding Officer, Col Santosh Babu was attacked.
“They [Indian soldiers] went with full aggression after their Colonel and two others who went ahead were attacked… Then the Indian soldiers launched a full attack. They were saying [to staff at the hospital] that they snatched whatever knives etc., and hit them [Chinese] back hard,” a source said.
The sources told The Indian Express that at least 18 injured soldiers were being treated in Leh, and more than 40 others had been sent to military hospitals elsewhere in the country. The Army has not given the numbers of soldiers who sustained injuries in the clash.
Soon after the clash in the Galwan valley, around 230 km from Leh, the Army ordered largescale movement of troops to Ladakh. A build-up of forces had been taking place since the Chinese PLA started to gather in strength along the Line of Actual Control (LAC); the violent clash last week has led to a strategic re-assessment.
Source: The Indian Express
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