Rama Krishna Sangem
After one-and-a-half years of the Galwan clash between India and China, the actual number of deaths from the side of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has come out. China lost at least 42 soldiers not 4 as Chinese military commission officially put the figure since February 2021. This truth has been dug out by an Australian investigation journalist Anthony Klan in his The Klaxon Report.
The Klaxon is an independent investigation newspaper with the tagline of “Truth Has No Ideology” and it is funded by its readers. www.theklaxon.com.au is its URL. Anthony Klan is its chief editor.
This report is significant for not only for India but for the entire world for more than one reason. First, all these months we were told that China lost only 4 soldiers while India admitted 19 deaths from its side, including our Col Santosh Babu. This big difference in the number of casualties has projected an image of superiority of China while Indian side is seen as weaker.
Second is how China hides the truth in death of its soldiers. China hasn’t admitted any deaths from its side immediately after the Galwan clash in June 2020, whereas India openly announced the names of 19 martyrs and conferred military honours on them. In February 2021, eight months later, China announced 4 deaths and presented military awards too.
Now, Australian journalist Anthony Klan after a yearlong investigation come out with his report that at least 42 PLA soldiers had died in the clashes and most of them were drowned in the Galwan river while chased by Indian forces. Klan whose report is put out on the website – The Klaxon – said the number can be even higher.
Indian army insiders feel that even this information is not fully true, because they estimate that the Chinese death toll in Galwan could be 120, as per Dr Srikanth Kondapally, a JNU professor and China expert. Some time ago, Russian news agency Tass said the Chinese death toll could be 45 while an US intelligence report put the figure at 35.
All these things suggest one thing – we cannot trust Chinese figures even on the actual death toll as they maintain total secrecy on such matters. India has boycotted the Winter Olympics in Beijing currently as China chose as torchbearer a PLA commander who fought with India in Galwan. Good that the facts are slowly coming out on Galwan clashes even after 18 months.