galwan valley news: Galwan crisis: After three day ordeal, ten captured Indian soldiers released by China

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NEW DELHI: After a three day ordeal during which the Indian side carried out hectic negotiations at the Major General level, ten Indian soldiers taken captive by Chinese forces during the skirmish at Galwan on Monday evening have been released.

The soldiers, which include four officers, walked back on Thursday evening after the third round of talks led to a breakthrough. Sources said that over the past days, details of the missing soldiers were shared by the Chinese side and India was assured that they would not be harmed.

The details behind the release are still not known but sources said that the soldiers had been taken captive during the skirmish after troops from the 16 Bihar regiment had been overwhelmed at Patrol Point 14 by a larger Chinese force.

While 20 soldiers, including the Commanding Officer of the unit died in the incident, at least 76 others were injured but are now out of danger.

That China choose to retain the ten in custody for three days was seen as a sign of escalation, given the past where such incidents are dealt with much faster. In a standoff at Chumar in 2013 for example, a Chinese officer who fell down a cliff was located and rescued by the Indian Army, after the Chinese patrol could not find him.

In the incident, the Chinese officer was given medical treatment overnight and returned back the next morning. This is in sharp contrast to the Galwan incident where Indian soldiers were not just kept captive for three days but their photographs were also displayed during the three Maj Gen level meetings it required to secure the release.

While no official statement has been made on the captive soldiers, the Indian Army on Thursday said that all its soldiers are accounted for and that no one can be termed as `Missing in Action’.

Sources indicated that the situation on Tuesday morning, hours after the skirmish, was one of extreme confusion and concern given that at one point, over 90 soldiers were feared missing. However, a majority of these were located or came back from the skirmish zone in subsequent hours.

While talks will continue over the next few days to defuse the situation and efforts are on to resolve a deadlock that has lasted over six weeks after Chinese soldiers moved across the LAC at several locations in Eastern Ladakh, the Indian side has bolstered defence and reinforced its positions.





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