PMO says PM’s comments interpreted mischievously
LAC FACE-OFF Cong had accused Modi of surrendering Indian territory to China
NEWDELHI: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said on Saturday that PM Narendra Modi’s remarks at an all-party meeting the previous day that no intruder was on Indian territory across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and that no Indian military post had been captured were being given a “mischievous interpretation”.
The PMO’s statement was a riposte to a Congress attack that Modi surrendered Indian territory in the face of Chinese aggression across the LAC and that his comments flew in the face of previous claims by defence minister Rajnath Singh and external affairs minister S Jaishankar.
“Attempts are being made in some quarters to give a mischievous interpretation to remarks by the Prime Minister at the allparty meeting yesterday. The Prime Minister was clear that India would respond firmly to any attempts to transgress the LAC,” the statement said.
The PMO said that PM Modi specifically emphasised that in contrast to the past neglect of such challenges, Indian forces now decisively counter any violations of the LAC (“unhe rokte hain, unhe tokte hain”).
“Because of the improved patrolling, our vigilance has gone up and the military gets to know what is happening on the borders at the right time,” Modi said at the all-party meeting, pointing out that Indian soldiers were able to intercept the Chinese forces who earlier had a free run. “If you keep on intercepting them, it is obvious that tensions will rise,” he said. The all-party meeting on Friday was called to discuss the situation along the
LAC following the brutal June 15 brawl between Indian and Chinese troops in the Galwan valley in eastern Ladakh, in which 20 Indian personnel were killed. It was the first time since 1975 that India suffered combat fatalities in a skirmish with Chinese troops. Ten Indian soldiers detained by the Chinese side were later released after intense negotiations through diplomatic and military channels. China has so far not acknowledged any casualties among its troops.
Following the PMO’s statements, the Congress termed it “a lame attempt to obfuscate the truth”.
An army convoy moves along a highway leading to Ladakh.