I am an Indian - so let me try to fill in the possible missing pieces in the story and the cultural perspective.
First of all the China-India border, especially in Ladakh is very tense with China occupying a border region called Aksai Chin for many decades. The Indian Army soldiers, who are most likely from the plains and who have never seen the sky in all its high altitude glory (we are talking about 15,000 - 20,000 ft altitude here) were likely tasked with looking out at the night sky and see anything 'interesting' - the officer who issued the order must have meant Chinese drones, but by the time the order got to the lookout guy from the officer via the JCO through the sergeant, it must have read look out for something 'bright'. The soldiers were seeing the brightest planets in their lives and obviously had plenty to write in their reports.
Then the sighting reports started pouring in and the officer in charge probably got suspicious and looked out and concluded that the objects were likely celestial. But just to make sure that he is right, he must have ringed up the battalion HQ to get some astronomy duded flown in to get a confirmation. That is probably why the request went straight to Indian Institute of Astrophysics. The astro-dudes flew in, confirmed that they are looking at planets and on their way back talked to a journalist about the incident and how stuuuuuuupid the army guys were.
That, I guess what would have happened.