Hundreds of Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers reportedly attempted to move to strategic points on the southern shores of Lake Pangong in eastern Ladakh over the weekend. India said it had thwarted the action and claimed several strategic points along the contested ridge line of the mountain, but condemned what officials called “provocative military moves” that violated consensus by disengagement course.
China has strongly contested this version of events, claiming that India has “seriously violated” its territorial integrity and “illegally transgressed” the disputed border, known as the Line of Effective Control. China has denied that an Indian soldier is dead.
India then accused China of further provocative actions on Monday by attempting again to bring troops closer to areas occupied by Indian troops, bringing the soldiers almost “eyeball”, according to military sources, even as talks of disengagement were in progress.
According to members of the Tibetan parliament in exile, Nyima Tenzin, an Indian soldier of Tibetan descent who led a regimental company in the Special Frontier Force (SFF) – an elite unit of the army that patrolled the Himalayan border – died in the clashes. along the border on weekends.
Tenzin’s body was taken to the Tibetan settlement camp near the town of Leh in Ladakh, where his wife and two children live, for final Buddhist rights to be fulfilled.
The death of Tenzin, the first casualty since 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives in June in a violent high-altitude clash in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, has not been confirmed by the Indian government, which rarely comments on them. SFF operations.
Namgyal Dolkar Lhagyari, a member of the Tibetan parliament in exile, told the Guardian he was “saddened that the martyrdom of these soldiers is not recognized just because he is Tibetan”.
There are approximately 100,000 Tibetans in exile in India, many of them in Ladakh.
“Maybe it’s because he’s Tibetan and the Chinese government tends to politicize everything, which is why the Indian government was afraid to announce his death,” Lhagyari said. “Tibetans have great respect for the Indian government and the nation and the sacrifice that entrepreneur Nyima Tenzin has made is out of pure love for India and its people.
Months of diplomatic and military talks failed to defuse the situation in Ladakh, which began in May when China began unusual movements of troops and artillery in areas India considered its sovereign territory. .
In June, it turned into a full-fledged assault in the Galwan Valley, the worst violence between the two sides since 1967, as soldiers fought hand-to-hand with stones and spiked clubs. altitude of about 4250 m (14,000 feet). , which led to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers.
Disengagement talks between Indian and Chinese military commanders continued on Wednesday in the village of Chushul in Ladakh.