China lost at least 38 soldiers during the violent Galwan clashes with India in June 2020, which is much more than the five casualties Beijing has officially acknowledged till now, an Australian website has claimed. The Indian Army has for long maintained the death toll among the ranks in the People’s Liberation Army was “much higher” than what China admitted to after a long delay.
India had immediately announced that 20 of its soldiers led by Col B Santosh Babu had laid down their lives while fighting the numerically superior Chinese troops, armed with nail-studded rods and other sharp weapons, during the extended clashes on June 15-16 that year.
The then Northern Command chief, Lt Gen Y K Joshi, for instance, had said that Indian observation posts “picked up a large number of PLA casualties” that were being taken back in stretchers. “More than 60, actually. But whether they were fatal or non-fatal, we can’t say with authority,” he had said.
As per the Australian website, the Klaxon, which based its report on a detailed study done by a group of unnamed social media researchers whose sources included Chinese bloggers and others, at least 38 PLA soldiers drowned while attempting to cross the Galwan river in the early stages of the clash amid sub-zero temperatures in darkness . Quoting a report, “Galwan Decoded”, by the group of social media researchers, the website said, “Comrades in arms kept slipping and being rushed downstream… After the incident, the bodies were first taken to Shiquanhe Martyr Cemetery, followed by local ceremonies at the local towns of the killed soldiers.”
The website said the PLA had not adhered to its promise to dismantle the infrastructure it had created in the buffer zone area. Instead, it dismantled a temporary bridge constructed by the Indian Army.