Ladakh standoff | Indian soldier killed in accidental mine explosion

India-China talks at Chushul remain inconclusive; Large number of troops deployed on both sides very close to each other

The third day of Brigadier-level talks on Wednesday between India and China at Chushul to de-escalate the situation on the South Bank of Pangong Tso remained inconclusive. An Army source confirmed that a soldier from the secretive Special Frontier Force (SFF) was killed in an accidental mine explosion while patrolling in the area on August 30.

“The talks remained inconclusive and will continue on Thursday,” a defence source said.

The talks are important as tensions are still running high in the Chushul sector, with a large number of troops deployed on both sides very close to each other along the disputed boundary.

Company Leader Nyima Tenzin from the commando unit SFF, also called Vikas Battalions, was killed in a blast when he stepped on a vintage 1962 minefield during patrolling, the Army source said. One soldier was injured in the accident. The same was not a result of Chinese action or the action in the South Bank of Pangong Tso, the source added.

There have been reports of the SFF being used in the recent action to dominate the peaks on the Indian side of the LAC (Line of Actual Control) on September 29 and 30. However, there has been no comment on this from the Army.

The Army brought in additional troops following the developments on the night of August 29 and 30 on the South Bank, triggered by “provocative movements” by PLA troops and to pre-empt them from dominating the heights in the Chushul sector near the Spanggur Gap. The action is centred around the Black Top area and around Rezang La and Rechin La. At the same time, the Army also strengthened its positions on the North Bank as a precaution.

“As part of the precautionary deployment carried out on August 30, some readjustments of our positions on North Bank of Pangong Tso on our side of to the Line of Actual Control had also been carried out,” the source stated.

On August 29, PLA troops came towards Rezang La but they were pushed back, a second source said. On Tuesday, the Ministry of External Affairs said Chinese troops had engaged in “provocative action” along the disputed boundary once again on August 31 even as the Brigadier level talks were on.

With inputs from The Hindu

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Kashmir Today staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)