Days after a violent face-off between India and China in the Galwan valley leading to the death of 20 Indian soldiers, satellite images have surfaced showing China diverting the course of the Galwan river.
The satellite pictures, which show alterations in the landscape of the valley – widening tracks, moved earth and river crossings – were taken by the Earth-imaging company Planet Labs.
“Looking at it in Planet, it looks like China is constructing roads in the valley and possibly damming the river,” Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Non-proliferation Programme at California’s Middlebury Institute of International Studies, was quoted as saying.
He said, “There are a tonne of vehicles on both sides – although there appear to be vastly more on the Chinese side. I counted 30-40 Indian vehicles and well over 100 vehicles on the Chinese side.”
The imagery also showed machinery being moved along the mountains and in the Galwan River.
Since last month, India and China have been involved in talks to smoothen the ongoing border tensions. However, last week as many as 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives in the face-off in Galwan Valley after an attempt by the Chinese troops to unilaterally change the status quo during the de-escalation in eastern Ladakh.
Indian intercepts have revealed that the Chinese side suffered 43 casualties in the violent clash. Meanwhile, in a strong response to the violent clashes on June 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Those who tried to transgress our land were taught a befitting lesson by our brave sons of soil. I want to assure you, that our armed forces will leave no stone unturned to protect our borders.”
Also, construction of a strategically important 60-metre bridge bridge over the Shyok river in eastern Ladakh was completed amid the faceoff with China.