NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday asserted that Indian soldiers will never allow an inch of the country’s land to be taken away by anyone.
Singh made this statement a day ahead of his meeting with army commanders, who will attend a biannual conference in Delhi for the first time after the clashes in Galwan Valley in June.
He said that India wants an end to the ongoing border tension with China but will not cede an inch of land.
"We want an end to the border tension with China. We want to restore peace. This is our objective. But at times, some nefarious incidents keep happening. But Indian soldiers will not allow even an inch of the country to be taken away by anyone under any circumstances," said Singh at Sukna in north Bengal.
Singh was addressing the press after performing Shastra Puja, the customary worship of weapons, at the Sukna-based headquarters of the Indian Army’s 33 Corps in Darjeeling district on the occasion of Dussehra.
The Defence Minister was accompanied by Chief of Army Staff Gen. MM Naravane and several senior officers at the key military base, which is responsible for guarding the LAC in the Sikkim sector.
Singh along with top Indian Military brass will be attending the Army Commanders’ Conference, an apex level biannual event, in New Delhi from October 26 to 29. The commanders formulate important policy decisions through collegiate deliberations in the Indian Army in the presence of senior officers of the Army including the VCOAS, all Army Commanders, Principal Staff Officers (PSOs) of the Army HQ and other senior officers.
“A major portion of the deliberations will be to assess the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the operational deployments in the Eastern Ladakh," sources said.
The militaries of India and China are deployed in standoff position all along the LAC in Ladakh since May month.
“Operational matters and future plans take precedence in such meetings and the ongoing standoff will be the part of deliberations.” told a senior Army officer. Threat perceptions are deliberated and planning is done accordingly.
The defence minister was scheduled to perform the puja at Sherathang, a high-altitude border area near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and Sikkim but could not go there due to inclement weather. After performing the puja, Singh inaugurated a new road in Sikkim through a video-conference from Sukna.