NEW DELHI: Four days after the violent stand-off in the Galwan Valley in East Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said “neither is anyone inside our territory nor is any of our post captured,” ruling out transgression by the Chinese armed forces.
Reassuring the political leadership, Modi said India has the capability to ensure that none can eye even an inch of the land, as the armed forces now enjoy the capability to move to any of the sectors simultaneously.
“Twenty of our jawans were martyred, but those who dared Bharat Mata have been taught a lesson,” the PM said in his concluding address at an all-party meeting. Speaking at the end of the meeting attended by the chiefs of about 20 political parties, Modi stressed that the infrastructure development in the border areas would continue, while crediting it to the works done in the past five years for the speedy movement of the armed forces.
“Those (the Chinese soldiers) who were never questioned or stopped are now warned and stopped by our jawans at multiple sectors,” said Modi.
While the Congress chief Sonia Gandhi sought to probe the government on finer details, including if there was an intelligence failure, the leaders of other parties struck a united stance to stand with the government, besides offering suggestions, which included economic and diplomatic pressure on Beijing. But strategic policy hawk Brahma Chellaney took a sharp line.
“Does Modi’s statement signal India is willing to live with China’s forcible change of the status quo in the Galwan Valley and at Lake Pangong?” he tweeted.
While Modi said neither anyone is inside our borders nor any post has been captured, the Ministry of External Affairs had taken a different position on the face-off on June 15.
The MEA statement, issued after the telephonic conversation between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Wednesday said, “...the Chinese side sought to erect a structure in Galwan valley on our side of the LAC.”
It went on to add: “On the late-evening and night of 15th June, 2020 a violent face-off happened as a result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo there.”
Union Minister for Defence Rajnath Singh firmly rejected allegations of intelligence failure, while Jaishankar shared an overview of the diplomatic outreach.
Quiet visit of Air Chief to Leh, Srinagar
After IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria made a quiet visit to airbases in Leh and Srinagar, frontline aircraft Su-30MKI and Apache attack helicopters were seen flying in and around Leh on Friday.
The Air Chief visited Leh airbase on June 17 and flew to Srinagar the next day.
He is learnt to have checked the operational readiness of all platforms that have been moved to the area in view of the Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Eastern Ladakh.