Clarification says violence in Galwan arose because Chinese side was seeking to erect structures just across LAC, India would respond firmly to any attempts to transgress LAC
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated before all-party meeting that Chinese “neither entered our territory nor has any post been taken over by them on the Indian side”, the Government on Saturday issued a clarification that focussed on the bloody clash on the night of June 15 between Chinese and Indian jawans but remained silent on which side of the LAC it took place.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said attempts are being made to give “mischievous interpretation” to Prime Minister’s remarks at the all-party meeting while referring to the Galwan valley clash in Ladakh on the intervening nights of June 15-16.
“As regards transgression of LAC, it was clearly stated that the violence in Galwan on June 15 arose because Chinese side was seeking to erect structures just across the LAC and refused to desist from such actions,” clarified the PMO.
The clarification does not match with what has been stated by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) three times. The PMO said structures “across the LAC” while the MEA had said “on our side of the LAC”.
The clarification came after the PM faced barrage of question from military experts and strategic analysts on how the Indian soldiers were killed if the Chinese side didn’t intrude into our territory.
But the statement didn’t clarify if across the LAC has been used to describe the Indian side of the LAC or Chinese side.
“The Prime Minister was clear that India would respond firmly to any attempts to transgress the Line of Actual Control (LAC). In fact, he specifically emphasised that in contrast to the past neglect of such challenges, Indian forces now decisively counter any violations of LAC (unhe rokte hain, unhe tokte hain),” said the statement from the PMO.
Attempts are being made in some quarters to give a mischievous interpretation to remarks by the Prime Minister on Friday, it said.
“The all-party meeting was also informed that this time, Chinese forces have come in much larger strength to the LAC and that the Indian response is commensurate. As regards transgression of LAC, it was clearly stated that the violence in Galwan on June 15 arose because Chinese side was seeking to erect structures just across the LAC and refused to desist from such actions,” the PMO said.
The Prime Minister paid glowing tributes to the valour and patriotism of our armed forces “who repulsed the designs of the Chinese there”.
“The Prime Minister’s observations that there was no Chinese presence on our side of the LAC pertained to the situation as a consequence of the bravery of our armed forces.
The sacrifices of the soldiers of the 16 Bihar Regiment foiled the attempt of the Chinese side to erect structures and also cleared the attempted transgression at this point of the LAC on that day”, said the official statement.
There were varied interpretations and perceptions of the ground situation following the Galwan valley clash between the two sides and Congress president Sonia Gandhi has understood to have asked the Prime Minister at the APM that status quo ante should be restored on the LAC.
The PMO statement said that Government would not allow any unilateral change of the LAC.
“What is Indian territory is clear from the map of India. This Government is strongly and resolutely committed to that. Insofar as there is some illegal occupation, the APM was briefed in great detail how over the last 60 years, more than 43,000 sq.km has been yielded under circumstances with which this country is well aware. It was also made clear that this Government will not allow any unilateral change of the LAC”, the PMO said.
The statement, however, makes no mention of the portion which the Prime Minister said “neither has there been any intrusion”. The clarification also does not match with what has been stated officially by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) three times. The PMO said structures “across the LAC” while MEA had said “on our side of the LAC”.
The Congress on Friday also quizzed the Prime Minister on the status of Mountain Strike Corps with two Mountain Infantry divisions for China Border sanctioned in 2013 during Manmohan Singh regime and which is yet to take a full shape.
Sunday, 21 June 2020 | PNS | New Delhi
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