15 Sep 2020
Rajnath blames China for LAC-tensions, drums up support for Army
Written byShalini OjhaIndia
In his first address to the Parliament on ongoing tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Defense Minister Rajnath Singh blamed China for troops build-up, aggression along the border, and said the Indian Army was prepared to deal with any eventualities.
He said Lok Sabha's tradition of always standing by the Army should continue even now, as India faces a hostile neighbor.
Singh spoke on the second day of Monsoon Session
On the second day of the Monsoon Session, Singh divulged details of what happened in Ladakh since April, that snowballed into the current stand-off.
He said China deployed an extraordinary number of troops along LAC, in violation of 1993 and 1996 bilateral agreements.
To counter China's People's Liberation Army, India has deployed forces at all friction points, Singh said in the Lok Sabha.
What he said
China suffered casualties during Galwan Valley incident: Singh
Singh said due to Chinese actions areas in eastern Ladakh, Gogra, Kongka La, and Pangong Lake's North and South banks have become friction points.
About the Galwan Valley episode, when the bloodshed happened along LAC in decades, Singh said, "There was a face-off in the Galwan on June 15 in which Indian forces inflicted heavy casualties on Chinese forces."
In meeting with Fenghe, Singh made India's stand clear
The Defense Minister also mentioned his meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Moscow, earlier this month.
"In meeting with Chinese Defense Minister, I clearly stated that while our troops had always taken a responsible approach toward border management, but at the same time there should be no doubt about our determination to protect India's sovereignty and territorial integrity," he went on.
China's disagreement on border sparked the tensions: Singh
In fact, Singh minced no words in saying that the issue hasn't been resolved yet, mostly due to China's stubbornness over what it believes is the border.
"We have been following the customary line that was agreed upon in the 1960s. But China does not agree to this now and says that both sides have different perspectives of this line," he added.
"Army's morale is high, India stands by soldiers"
The Defense Minister also told about his and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visits to the volatile area, saying that the Army is ready to tackle China's transgressions.
"I want to assure that the morale of our armed forces is high. No one should doubt it. PM's visit to Ladakh has sent a message that people of India stand behind Indian armed forces," he added.
Though tensions are common, Singh underscored current situation is different
During the short speech, Singh noted stand-offs with China aren't new.
"Even though situation this year is very different both in terms of the scale of troops involved and a number of friction points, we remain committed to a peaceful resolution," he said, adding that he can't disclose sensitive information.
He also called on the House to pass a resolution declaring support for Army.
Unimpressed with response, Congress' Randeep Singh Surjewala attacked Centre
मा. राजनाथ जी,— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) September 15, 2020
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