Soldier martyred as India reclaims critical heights along Ladakh's Pangong Lake
03 September 2020
A soldier of Tibetan origin with Indian Special Forces has reportedly been killed in the latest border confrontation between India and China on the southern bank of the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh, fuelling concerns of a wider military confrontation between the two regional powers.
The Tibetan-origin soldier was "martyred during the clash" on Saturday night, an AFP report citing Namgyal Dolkar Lhagyari, a member of the Tibetan Parliament in exile, as saying. The government did not make any comments on the reports of the death.
The death is the first reported from two incidents occurring within 48 hours on the border, two months after a battle that left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead
The report said another member of the Special Frontier Force, which reportedly includes many ethnic Tibetans who oppose China's claim to their home region, was wounded in the operation.
Indian Army has captured all positions and posts in the Ridge area on the southern bank of the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh amidst escalating tensions on the border with China, a News 18 report on Wednesday cited government sources as saying.
“We haven’t entered their (Chinese) location, but dominated our posts. We are in dominating position at this point,” a source said.
“India is committed to border security under PM Narendra Modi and we hope China will come for a peaceful border solution now,” the source added.
Both countries had held Brigade Commander-level talks on Tuesday in Chushul on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) following the latest confrontation, which was triggered by the Chinese military’s “provocative movements” on the southern bank of Pangong lake. Indian troops thwarted China’s attempt to change the status quo on the intervening night of 29 and 30 August, it said.
China continues to deny that it started the latest flare-up, and an embassy spokeswoman in New Delhi accused Indian troops of trespassing the Line of Actual Control (LAC) - the de facto border - and conducting "flagrant provocations".
India and China were earlier engaged in a confrontation on the northern bank of Pangong lake but it was for the first time that such an incident occurred on its southern bank.
This is the first major incident in the area after the Galwan Valley clashes on 15 June in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed. Both sides since agreed to pull back after military chiefs held five rounds of talks.