Holes in India’s narrative on Galwan Valley incident raises questions

Holes in India’s narrative on Galwan Valley incident raises questions

During the aftermath of any incident it is expected that there will be multiple narratives with varying details but the disinformation being churned out in the Indian media raises more questions about the Indian armed forces credibility as an institution, the political leadership in India and moreover the numerous China-focused groups created to monitor activities of India’s mighty northern neighbour.

Immediately after the night clash at Galwan Valley, the Indian Army claimed 3 of their personnel were killed including a Colonel. The figure was raised to 20 within the next few hours. Days later it has emerged that scores more Indian troops were injured and many simply missing.

What we know is that India was constructing metaled roads up to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that divides Indian and Chinese held Kashmir in the inhospitable Ladakh region.

An Indian television channel also circulated fictitious names of “Chinese Army personnel killed by the Indian Army”. The randomly conjured names were of  course the creation of right wing Indian Prashant Patel Umrao, who was often been found promoting misinformation on social media according to ALT News India an investigation.

Some key questions to ponder:

  • Why was a Colonel level officer leading just 50 personnel? It raises the question about his ability leading his personnel to their deaths.
  • Why were the Indian Army troops unarmed when their objective was to dismantle a Chinese military camp? Is it even possible to dismantle a military camp without tools or machinery? This does not match with photos, videos and articles written on Indian news websites, on youtube and social media in weeks leading up to the Galwan Valley incident where Indian forces were shown as “well equipped” and “ready for anything”.
  • Indian sources counted 500 Chinese coming to rescue over the 6 hour period of the clashes. In that time where were the Indian Army reinforcements? Why they were not sent to rescue the clearly incompetent Colonel and his ‘unarmed’ troops?
  • It gets worse – the ‘unarmed’ Indian Army troops were somehow able to beat up or kill 35+ Chinese troops who were supposedly armed and outnumbered the Indians 10:1. How is that possible without weapons?
  • Despite inflicting supposedly heavy casualties on the Chinese troops, the Indian Army personnel were supposedly “hunted down, severely beaten down by Chinese armed with clubs with nails/barbed wire?
  • Now, according to the official autopsy report the Indian Army troops died due to drowning after jumping in to the Galwan River. The dead troops did not bare signs of being beaten up by clubs enamoured with nails and barbed wire. The deaths occurred from “extreme weather”. This points to the earlier claim by a Chinese expert in the Global Times that Indian Army troops were not prepared with proper winter clothes/gear and nor were there adequate medical and logistical facilities.
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It is now fairly safe to assume the Indian Army suffered 133 casualties including 23 killed, 110 more injured and further missing. At least 10 Indian Army soldiers captured by Chinese troops were released including a Lieutenant-Colonel and three Majors. That means a company-sized unit was deployed for this particular operation with possibly an entire battalion nearby given the number of mid-level officers involved in the clash directly.


In war truth is the first casualty however one thing is clear is that the Galwan Valley defeat suffered by the Indian forces will reshape Sino-Indian relations for years to come. The back to back humiliation suffered under Prime Minister Narendra Modi against Pakistan and now China leaves his administration exposed as weak, toothless, xenophobic mantra-men with short term goals leaving India insecure and isolated in the region.


The Bangladesh Defence Analyst - Defseca.com © 2023