New Delhi, June 28: India has given a befitting response to China on Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today, praising the army which fought Chinese troops at the Galwan Valley earlier this month. He also spoke of the call for boycott of Chinese goods by the traders and the civil society, juxtaposing it against the government’s “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” campaign. “We will buy local and be vocal for local and this will help India become stronger,” he said.
“Those who eyed Indian territory in Ladakh have received a befitting response,” the Prime Minister said in his monthly radio address Mann ki Baat.
“If India knows how to maintain friendship, it can also confront someone and give an adequate response. Our brave soldiers made it clear that they will not allow anyone to taint the honour of Mother India,” he added, referring to the clash with Chinese troops in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the line of duty.
The Army believes that the Chinese suffered 45 casualties during the late-night skirmish on June 15. Chinese military leaders are believed to have conveyed to their Indian counterparts the loss of a Chinese Colonel in the fighting here as well.
PM Modi has been under constant Congress attack over the face-off with China that has been happening at the Line of Actual Control — the de facto border with China — since April.
Congress’s Rahul Gandhi has repeatedly accused him of surrendering Indian territory to the Chinese — an allegation that came up after the Prime Minister, at an all-party meeting earlier this month, said China has not captured any Indian territory or crossed the border.
“Neither is anyone inside our territory nor is any of our post captured… While we have given a free hand to our armed forces, diplomatically too we have made our stand clear to China. India wants peace and friendship but protecting its sovereignty is supreme,” the Prime Minister had said.
The Prime Minister’s Office said it was an attempt to give a “mischievous interpretation” to PM Modi’s comments.
“As regards transgression of LAC (Line of Actual Control), it was clearly stated that the violence in Galwan on 15 June arose because Chinese side was seeking to erect structures just across the LAC and refused to desist from such actions,” the government said in a statement.
The foreign ministry has since said China has been making repeated incursions into Indian territory this year in “complete disregard of all mutually agreed norms”.
“Since early May, the Chinese side has been amassing a large contingent of troops and armaments along the LAC (Line of Control),” said the ministry in its hardest statement earlier this week.
High resolution satellite images from the Galwan river valley — obtained after India and China agreed to start the process of disengagement in Ladakh — appear to show the presence of Chinese structures on both sides of the Line of Actual Control.
Through a series of satellite images — taken between May 22 and June 26 — NDTV pieced together Chinese construction activity on the river-bend of the Galwan as it crosses the Line of Actual Control and flows into territory held by India in Ladakh. The location is near Patrol Point 14, where the violence of June 15 took place.