File photo: ANI

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Saturday responded to barbs from the Congress over his remarks at the all party meeting on Friday that neither has anyone entered Indian territory, nor is anyone present in Indian territory currently, and nor is any Indian post captured.

Congress leaders have been tweeting jabs at the government ever since, asking if the Galwan region where the violent face-off took place, wasn’t Indian territory. Rahul Gandhi, one of the first senior leaders to question PM Modi over his remarks had tweeted: “PM has surrendered Indian territory to Chinese aggression. If the land was Chinese: Why were our soldiers killed? Where were they killed”.

The government statement called this criticism an attempt to give a “mischievous interpretation” to PM Modi’s remarks.

The PMO said Modi’s remarks had focused on the June 15 face-off between Indian and Chinese soldiers at Galwan that led to the loss of lives of 20 Indian soldiers.

In a statement, the PMO said, “Attempts are being made in some quarters to give a mischievous interpretation to remarks by the Prime Minister at the All-Party Meeting yesterday. As regards transgression of LAC, 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 Prime Minister’s observations that there was no Chinese presence on our side of the LAC (Line of Actual Control) pertained to the situation as a consequence of the bravery of our armed forces,” the statement said.

“The sacrifices of the soldiers of the 16 Bihar Regiment foiled the attempt of the Chinese side to erect structures and also cleared the attempted transgression at this point of the LAC on that day,” the PMO added .

“In fact he specifically emphasized that in contrast to the past neglect of such challenges, Indian forces now decisively counter any violations  of LAC (“unhe rokte hain, unhe tokte hain”),” read the statement.

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