Amid the rising tensions at the China-India border, an unseen contest is underway at the Pangong Tso, where the two countries are aiming to take full control of the territory from the opposition. The confrontation comes as tension between the two countries rises with encounters erupting from multiple regions.
The Chinese nation controls approximately two-thirds of the body of water which spans 83 miles. The lake is home to frequent patrol boat incursions and confrontations between the two nations' troops.
According to Forbes, in 2018, conflicts between the two countries in the lake have calmed until they once again resumed in 2019. The overt clashes occurred when Indian and Chinese troops faced each other in unarmed combat in and around the area of Pangong Tso.
Recently in May, encounters between both nations' troops resumed in the decade's worst border violence recorded. After a fatal battle in June, however, the majority of hostilities have ceased, but both sides have since begun ramping up their aggression by calling in reinforcements, including vessels.
Previously, another fatal encounter between Chinese and Indian troops, that led to the deaths of several military personnel had one Indian soldier have his throat slit open by metal nails. The man's father explained that a fellow troop revealed his son's cause of death.
The victim is among those who lost their lives during a close combat confrontation with Chinese military troops last month when they were surrounded unarmed by a large group of China's military.
Witnesses have also revealed that some Indian troops died when they fell into the freezing waters of the Galwan river located in the western part of the Himalayas, as reported by Reuters.
Brutal unarmed encounter
On June 15, 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives in the border when they came face-to-face with Chinese troops. The confrontation led to brutal and violent unarmed combat and is considered to be the highest fatality encounter since 1967 between the two countries.
One Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson told Reuters that the government accused the Indian troops of illegally crossing the border, provoking Chinese forces, which then led to the fatal clash.
The spokesperson claims that Chinese officers and soldiers attempted to negotiate with the opposition who then violently attacked and ambushed them. The official went on to say that the responsibility for the incident was apparent and that the Indian troops are solely to blame.
The accusations, however, are not supported by evidence as the defence ministry of China refused to provide further comments on the case.
The casualties of the confrontation include three men who had their "arteries ruptured in the neck" and two who suffered severe head injuries that were allegedly caused by sharp or pointed objects, as seen in their death certificates.
A Delhi government official revealed that the sudden battle caused the troops to use whatever they could find as weapons, including sticks, rocks, and even their own fists to defend themselves against the opposition.
Indian officials accused the People's Liberation Army (LPA) of acting in a planned manner but had since not revealed the full details regarding the incident.