Defense Ministry accepts Chinese intrusion in Ladakh, later deletes document
For the first time since tensions with China sparked along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) earlier this year, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) admitted to intrusion. This information which was available on MoD's website since Tuesday has now been taken down, said reports. MoD also said China's aggression has been increasing and the current stand-off could be prolonged. Here are more details.
Reportedly, the information filed under "Chinese Aggression on LAC," read, "Chinese aggression has been increasing along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and more particularly in Galwan Valley since May 5, 2020. The Chinese side has transgressed in the areas of Kungrang Nala, Gogra, and the north bank of Pangong Tso Lake on May 17-18." MoD used "transgression" as a substitute for "intrusion."
In the next point, MoD revealed that soldiers on the ground engaged in dialogue to defuse the tension. The June 6 meeting of Corps Commander level was also mentioned. "However, a violent face-off incident took place between the two sides on 15th June 2020, resulting in casualties of both sides, (sic)" the document read. It also spoke about the consequent meetings between high-level officers.
Suggesting that the current standoff would be prolonged despite talks being held, the document added, "The situation in Eastern Ladakh arising from unilateral aggression by China continues to be sensitive and requiring close monitoring and prompt action based on the evolving situation. (sic)"
India's consistent position since the tensions sparked in May was that no one crossed the border. The same sentiment was reflected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after an all-party meeting, held in June, to discuss the situation and talk about the Galwan Valley clash, in which 20 soldiers were martyred. "Neither has anyone intruded into our territory nor taken over any post," he said.
Notably, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi is not convinced with PM Modi's assurance and has been targeting BJP citing the tensions. Rahul claims that China intruded into Indian territory and by concealing the truth the current government was dishonoring the martyred soldiers. Sharing a news report that detailed MoD's statement on intrusion, Gandhi asked, "Why is the PM lying?"
Forget standing up to China, India’s PM lacks the courage even to name them.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 6, 2020
Denying China is in our territory and removing documents from websites won’t change the facts.https://t.co/oQuxn77FRs
So far, India and China have held five rounds of military talks. One conversation also happened between Special Representatives NSA Ajit Doval and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Though China pulled back its troops in the Galwan Valley, it is showing reluctance in retreating in key areas like Pangong Lake and Depsang. India is certain that the situation would continue till winter months.