The Army rescued 447 tourists stranded due to heavy snowfall near the India-China border in Sikkim on Thursday. The tourists were stuck on the Nathu La- Gangtok road following a severe snowstorm and subzero temperatures.
Nathu La is a premier tourist attracChina has officially admitted that its soldiers were killed in Galwan Valley clash the with Indian Army. Acknowledging that casualties were suffered by the country’s military in Galwan, China has named and shared details of four People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers who died during the border clash with Indian soldiers in eastern Ladakh in June last year.
China had earlier refused to disclose details of casualties in the bloody clash in Galwan.
In a report on Friday, the Chinese government’s mouthpiece Global Times said the Central Military Commission of China “recognised” five Chinese frontier officers and soldiers “for their sacrifice in border confrontation with India”. Of the five PLA soldiers “honoured for their sacrifice” by China, four were killed in last year’s Galwan Valley clash in Ladakh with the Indian Army, Global Times report added.
“Five Chinese frontier officers and soldiers stationed in the Karakorum Mountains have been recognised by the Central Military Commission of China for their contributions in the border confrontation with India, which occurred in the Galwan Valley in June 2020,” Global Times quoted the PLA Daily as saying on Friday.
A Reuters report citing Chinese media reported: “Chen Hongjun, Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan and Wang Zhuoran died a fierce struggle” against “foreign troops”. Chen Hongjun was posthumously awarded the title of “Hero to defend the border,” while the other three were given first-class merit citations, the report added.
China has shared the details of Chinese officers and soldiers who died in the clash with the Indian Army in Ladakh for the first time. Following the clash, while India said 20 Army soldiers were killed in the bloody clash, China refused to reveal its casualty figure and instead termed reports of PLA soldiers being killed in the face-off in eastern Ladakh as “fake news”.
What happened in Galwan?
The border row between India and China erupted in May last year and the stand-off escalated on June 15, when troops from the two sides clashed in Galwan Valley near Patrol Point 14.
While there was no firing, the Chinese troops used stones, clubs and sticks embedded with nails to attack the Indian soldiers.
The violent clash in Galwan marked the most serious military conflict between the two sides in nearly 45 years.
After a nine-month standoff and multiple rounds of military talks, militaries of Indian and China reached an agreement earlier this month on disengagement in the north and south banks of Pangong lake that mandates both sides to cease forward deployment of troops in a “phased, coordinated and verifiable” manner.
The Indian Army also released videos and photographs showing thinning down of troops and dismantling of bunkers, camps and other facilities by the Chinese military in the areas around the Pangong lake in Ladakh in line with the agreed disengagement process between the two sides.
The visuals showed the PLA using a bulldozer to flatten some structures, and vehicles with troops and equipment preparing to retreat to rear bases as part of the infantry disengagement. The photos and videos largely depicted a fast-paced disengagement process in both the North and South banks of the Pangong lake that included withdrawal of troops, removal of machinery and dismantling of temporary structures like bunkers, posts and tents.
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tion in north Sikkim.
The tourists were travelling in about 155 vehicles that got stuck over a 15-kilometer stretch and started skidding after the snowstorm, said Army sources.
The Army officials, braving the adverse weather conditions, rescued the tourists and provided them with accommodation, food and medical support.
“The tourists were rescued in army vehicles and accommodated inside the barracks of 17 Mile Military Camp. All tourists were provided accommodation while 26 had to be hospitalized and required given critical medical support. There were no major injuries or casualties,” a press statement said.