India’s Governmentt is giving powers to the country’s armed forces to make emergency procurements to bulk up its reserves following the intense violence that saw dozens of soldiers killed. The Economic Times in India has reported Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat has been told to work with the country’s three armed forces to prioritise these requirements where necessary. Those familiar with the matter told the publication the Navy has also been given the green light to move its firepower close to the Malacca Strait and, if needed, anywhere else in the Indo-Pacific to counter any action from China.
Fighter jets have been moved to more advanced locations in a sign India and China could be preparing for more bloody violence.
While Delhi had initiated the dialogue to contain the conflict in Ladakh, sources close to the matter told the Economic Times the Government now does not want to take any chances, especially after the bloody battle that took place on Monday night.
On Tuesday, India said 20 of its soldiers had been killed in violent clashes with Chinese troops at the disputed border site at the Galwan Valley in what is now a major escalation of several weeks of standoff between the two Asian nuclear superpowers in the Western Himalayas.
China’s Foreign Ministry confirmed there had been a “violent physical confrontation” and although it made no mention of any deaths, India’s Foreign Ministry said there had been casualties on both sides.
An Indian Government source claimed no gunfire took place, with troops instead beating each other with iron rods and stones.
China and India are blaming each other for the deadly clashes in the snow deserts of Ladakh, which came after military leaders held meetings in an attempt to resolve the escalating situation.
Hundreds of soldiers have been facing up to each other since the start of last month at a handful of locations, with each side accusing the other of trespassing.
But a statement from the Indian army said a group of soldiers came to blow in the Galwan Valley on Monday night, and that the two sides had now disengaged.
China and India had been discussing ways to de-escalate, but an Indian Government source told Reuters China’s People’s Liberation Army had turned on a group of Indian soldiers.
The source said: “They attacked with iron rods, the commanding officer was grievously injured and fell, and when that happened, more soldiers swarmed to the area and attacked with stones.”
Indian foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said in a statement: “Both sides suffered casualties that could have been avoided had the agreement at the higher level been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters in Beijing: “What’s shocking is that on June 15, the Indian side severely violated our consensus and twice crossed the border line and provoked and attacked the Chinese forces, causing a violent physical confrontation between the two border forces.