At the all-party meeting convened to discuss the tense border situation with China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday said there was no intrusion by Chinese troops across the Line of Actual Control (LAC). “Neither has anyone entered our border nor has any of our posts been in the possession of anyone else,” the Prime Minister told presidents of various political parties in the virtual meeting. Stating that India has “never accepted any external pressure”, PM Modi said, “Whatever construction of infrastructure is necessary for national security, it will continue to be carried forward at a similar pace.”
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, on the other hand, posed several questions before the government, enquiring whether the military intelligence alerted the government about the intrusion and the build-up of Chinese forces along the LAC. “Did our external intelligence agencies not report any unusual activity along the LAC? Did the Military Intelligence not alert the government about the intrusion and the build-up of massive forces along the LAC? In the government’s considered view, was there a failure of intelligence?,” Gandhi asked.
In a major development from the ground zero, the Chinese army on Thursday evening returned from its custody 10 Indian soldiers, including four officers, involved in Monday’s violent showdown in the Galwan Valley. The soldiers were returned on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) following hectic negotiations between the two sides, including three rounds of talks at the Major General level. This was the first time after the 1962 Sino-India War that Indian soldiers were taken into custody by the Chinese side.
In the worst flare-up on the LAC in more than five decades, 20 Indian Army personnel, including the commanding officer of 16 Bihar, were killed Monday night in the Galwan valley where disengagement of troops on either side was underway. This is the first time in the last 45 years that Indian or Chinese troops have been killed on the LAC.