For the best experience, open
on your mobile browser.

5 soldiers die during military training exercise in Ladakh

Tank got stuck due to sudden rise in water levels: Army
06:23 AM Jun 30, 2024 IST | SHABIR IBN YUSUF
5 soldiers die during military training exercise in ladakh

Srinagar, June 29: Five Army soldiers lost their lives while conducting a routine military training exercise involving tank fording across the Shyok River in the Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) area of eastern Ladakh early Saturday morning.


The exercise, which involved Russian-origin T-72 tanks, took a fatal turn due to a sudden increase in the river’s water levels, officials of Leh-based 14 Corps said.


The Shyok River, a tributary of the Indus River, flows through northern Ladakh.


According to the Army, while the leading tank successfully crossed the river, a tank drifted due to the high current and unexpected rise in water levels, getting stuck in the process. Despite immediate rescue efforts, the strong current swept away the Army personnel.


The bodies have been retrieved and identified as Ris MR K Reddy, Dfr Bhupender Negi, LD Akdum Taibam, Hav A Khan (6255 Fd workshop), and Cfn Nagraj P (LRW).


The Army’s 14 Corps, responsible for the Ladakh sector, said that the tank got stuck near Saser Brangsa due to the sudden rise in water levels during the de-induction from the training activity.


“Rescue teams rushed to the location. However, due to the high current and water levels, the rescue mission did not succeed, and the tank crew lost their lives,” they said. “The Army regrets the loss of five brave personnel while being operationally deployed in eastern Ladakh. Rescue operations are underway.”


Since the Galwan Valley clashes in 2020, there has been a significant increase in armoured deployment in the strategic DBO area of eastern Ladakh.

Located less than 10 km west of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at Aksai Chin, DBO hosts a military outpost created in response to China’s occupation of Aksai Chin, currently manned by a combination of the Army’s Ladakh Scouts and the paramilitary Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

Initially, only one brigade of tanks was deployed in the area.

This deployment was later increased to two brigades with a higher number of battalions to ensure that the crew and tanks were familiar with the terrain and potential situations.

The tanks and their crews have been carrying out routine training exercises since their deployment.

India and China have been engaged in a military standoff in eastern Ladakh since 2020.

Although there has been some resolution at friction points like Galwan Valley, the north and south banks of Pangong Tso, the Gogra-Hot Springs area, and buffer zones have been created along the LAC.

Approximately, 50,000 to 60,000 troops have been deployed on both sides of the India-China border since the standoff began, with some troop reductions in recent months due to winter.

However, a comprehensive de-escalation of troops is only expected after the resolution of longstanding issues in the Depsang Plains and Demchok areas.