New Delhi: The Indian Army said on Tuesday that 20 Indian soldiers have died in the Galvan Valley conflict with the Chinese Army. Earlier, two jawans, including a colonel, were reported to have died.
See More: Kanhaiya kumar: PM Modi is a coward, He is a Phattu
Funerals have been held for some of those who died. They lost their lives in a fight with fists and nail-studded bats – no shots were fired in Galvan Valley.
The world’s two most populous nations – with two of the world’s largest militaries – have been at loggerheads for weeks along their long and contested high-altitude frontier.
“I would have rather lived in poverty eating nothing but salt and roti (Indian flatbread) than lose my son,” said Renu Devi, Aman Kumar’s mother, as visitors poured into the family house in Samastipur district in the eastern state of Bihar.
Aman’s father, Sudhir Kumar, was still in shock.
“I got a call in the night,” he said. “When I picked up the phone, they asked me who is speaking. I told them I was Aman’s father. A voice told me that Aman had been martyred and then hung up before I could ask anything else. I called the number again, but there was no answer. The next morning they called again and told me his body would be sent home soon.”
Kundan Kumar Yadav
Kundan Kumar is survived by his wife and two young children, aged six and four.
“Around 10 o’clock in the night, there was a call informing us of his death,” Kundan said.
Kundan’s father Niminder Yadav is a farmer by profession but four members of his family are in the army. The family said that Kundan had called them just four days ago.
They last saw him in February, when he came for his son’s mundan – a Hindu ritual involving the first time a child’s head is shaved.
“We are proud of his martyrdom. We are proud that a brother from among us has shone a light on our village,” said Praveen Anand, a local leader.
Jai Kishore Singh
“I got a call a month ago. He said that they are being deployed up in the mountains. If there is no cell tower there, we will not be able to talk. He said we could talk after he came back down,” said Raj Kapoor Singh, Jai Kishore Singh’s father.
But the call never came. Instead, on Wednesday morning, the family was told that their son was seriously injured. Two hours later, they were told he was dead.
Mr Singh said he wanted a memorial to be erected in his son’s memory, and a public place to be named after him.
“My son is gone, but his memory should remain. It will help us live out the rest of our lives,” he said.