New Delhi: India is “very serious about issues of sovereignty” and the country is prepared for “all contingencies” to ensure that it is maintained, Union minister Rajnath Singh told Lok Sabha (LS) today in what was seen as a strong warning to China amid repeated transgressions at the Line of Actual Control.
Detailing a key meeting in Moscow between him and his Chinese counterpart, Mr Singh said he made it clear that India wants to resolve this issue in a peaceful manner and “want the Chinese side to work with us”. But “there should also be no doubt about our determination to protect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Singh told parliament as it resumed after more than five months.
A similar stance was taken by foreign minister S Jaishakar when he met his counterpart in Moscow, Singh said.
“We do remain committed to the peaceful resolution of the current situation. At the same time, the House can be assured that we remain prepared to deal with all contingencies,” he said.
In his statement, Singh had said the border issue with China remains unresolved as China, historically, “does not recognise the current boundary”.
There is no commonly delineated Line of Actual Control in the border areas and no common perception of the entire LAC. The difference in perception has led to the face-off at the Line of Actual Control, he said.
But while this situation was being addressed by the ground commanders, the Chinese side made several attempts to transgress the LAC in other parts of the Western Sector in mid-May.
“This included Kongka La, Gogra and North Bank of Pangong Lake. These attempts were detected early and consequently responded to appropriately by our armed forces,” Singh said.
The face-off with China had escalated and on June 15, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the line of duty — a first in more than four decades. Even after that, there have been repeated attempts by the Chinese troops to recapture the heights occupied by the Indian soldiers.
The rapidly snowballing issue and the repeated Congress attacks on the matter made it a prime subject for a government statement as parliament resumed for monsoon session yesterday.
However, the government’s refusal to a discussion after the minister’s statement, in view of the “sensitivity” of the matter, led to a Congress walkout.
The party, which had repeatedly demanded that the government explain the “real situation” in Ladakh, today carried placards that read, “We want a discussion on China and PM must answer”.
As the Speaker refused to allow the party’s leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Chowdhury to speak, the Congress members staged a walkout to register their protest.
Congress’s Rahul Gandhi, who is currently abroad, tweeted, “It is clear from the statement of the Defense Minister that Modi ji misled the country on Chinese encroachment. Our country has always been, and will remain, with the Indian Army. But Modi -ji, when will you stand against China? When will we take back the land of our country from China? Do not be afraid to name China”.