NEW DELHI: In a first categorical confirmation to media on Chinese casualties, Union Minister and former Army chief General VK Singh (Retd) on Saturday said the number of PLA soldiers killed in the clash in Galwan Valley is more than 40.
Gen VK Singh, Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, said on Saturday, “If we lost 20 soldiers, more than double the number were killed on their side” This is the first statement from a minister of the present Government.
On June 15, the Chinese soldiers attacked Indian Army troops who had reached out to the Chinese side in connection with non-compliance of agreement by the Chinese side to dismantle and leave a particular area. Both sides had arrived at an agreement during the June 6 Corps Commanders meeting to create a buffer zone in the areas of the standoff with the retreat of soldiers from both sides from that zone.
With regard to the confusion in numbers of PLA troops killed during the incident, Gen Singh said that the Chinese always hide their casualties. “China hides numbers. In the 1962 war too, it did not accept the casualties,” he said.
With regard to the prevalent confusion about the position of the Line of Actual Control and the presence of the Chinese soldiers inside the Indian territory, Gen VK Singh, while speaking to a media house, said that 'they are not on our territory.'
“The LAC is an interpretation from a map given in 1959 and the Chinese keep advancing some claim or the other. The LAC is not marked on the ground, there is no agreement on it. There is a certain amount of flexibility that exists out there.” The faceoff takes place because there are areas where the claims overlap and because of these perceptional differences, this is where these patrol face-offs take place.