Three days after bloody clashes in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh which left 20 Indian soldiers dead, the Chinese on Thursday released 10 Indian Army personnel, including a Lieutenant Colonel and three Majors, from their custody.
The Hindu and The Indian Express newspapers said the release took place after major-general-level talks were held between the Indian and Chinese militaries on Thursday to defuse the border standoff.
The Hindu said about 80 Indian troops were also injured and all of them are said to be stable.
The Chinese PLA Western Theatre Command spokesman Senior Colonel Zhang Shuili said on Tuesday that the clash in the Galwan Valley had led to casualties on both sides, but so far China has not revealed the number of any dead or wounded.
The Foreign Ministers of the two countries held a telephone conversation on Wednesday in an effort to reduce tensions following the killing of the Indian soldiers.
India said its soldiers were killed in a premeditated attack by Chinese troops at a time when top commanders had agreed to defuse tensions on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), or the disputed and poorly defined border between the two nations.
China has rejected the Indian allegations and blamed front-line Indian soldiers for provoking the conflict which took place at the freezing height of 14,000 feet in the western Himalayas.
The Hindu reported that the clash took place after Colonel Santosh Babu, who was commanding the unit, dismantled a tent erected by the Chinese and later set it on fire. During the June 6 military level talks, the two sides decided to remove the tent. It has now emerged that the tent was destroyed two days before the June 15 clash. When Indian troopers were patrolling the contested site, the Chinese threw boulders on them and unleashed strong current of water by unblocking the rivulets.
The Indian Express said it was the first time after the 1962 India-China war that Indian soldiers were taken into custody by the Chinese side.