Every year, the Indian Army celebrates Cho La Day on October 1 to commemorate the bravery of Indian troops who gave a bloody nose to the Chinese PLA troops during clashes at the Cho La pass in 1967. This was the last time that a skirmish between soldiers of the two armies turned violent resulting in 200 Indian and 300 PLA troops being killed in battle. More than 50 years have passed since the incident.
The current Galwan clash on June 15, 2020, which resulted in the loss of life of 20 Indian soldiers and more than 40 PLA troops is a grim reminder that skirmishes that start with fistfights and stone-pelting can degrade into bloody clashes.
The incident at Cho La was preceded by heavy fighting between the Indian and Chinese armies between September 11 and 14, 1967, over the construction of an iron fence by India in the Nathu La sector to prevent Chinese incursions. Black Cat Division at the time was headed by Lt Gen Sagat Singh, later hero of the 1971 war that liberated Bangladesh.