Galwan standoff: Fear palpable as Ladakh seeks answers from Modi Sarkar

June 20, 2020
Kashmir Army convoy moves towards Ladakh on Srinagar Leh national highway at Gagangeer Umar Ganie 6 scaled
File photo: KM/Umar Ganie

Srinagar: Ladakh has slipped into a state of shock after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said neither has anyone (China) entered into the Indian Territory nor has any post been captured on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Facing flak, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) went into a damage control mode saying that attempts are being made in some quarters to give a mischievous interpretation to remarks by the prime minister at the All-Party meeting on Friday. 

“It was clearly stated that the violence in Galwan on  June 15 arose because the Chinese side was seeking to erect structures just across the LAC and refused to desist from such actions,” PMO said in a statement.

However, the clarification has failed to convince the people in Ladakh.  “Can Prime Minister explain to the nation how our 20 brave soldiers were martyred? Who killed them? Where were they killed? What was the provocation? Who returned our 10 soldiers? Why is our foreign minister talking to his Chinese counterpart” said Sajad Hussain Kargili, a prominent social activist, who unsuccessfully contested 2019 parliamentary polls from Ladakh constituency.

On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said neither has anyone intruded into the Indian border nor has any post been taken over by them (China). “Twenty of our soldiers were martyred, but those who dared Bharat Mata, they were taught a lesson,” he said while addressing the all-party meet.

Sajad said army veterans in general and people of Ladakh, in particular, are very disappointed. “Our country has no foreign policy. They are in a state of confusion. Those who were friends are criticizing us, be it on Article 370 abrogation or CAA or NRC. The government should have a rethink over domestic and foreign policy,” he said.

Chering Dorjay, former Chief Executive Councilor (CEC) of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh, said it is now in a public domain that the Chinese have entered eight-kilometre into Indian Territory at Finger four.

“I can’t say about Galwan but they are at Finger Four. It is in the public domain. They have entered around eight kilometres up to Finger Four,” he said.

India shares a 3,488-km border with China while Ladakh shares 646 Km of the LAC with the neighbouring country. Jammu and Kashmir is the only place in the country which shares its borders with both Pakistan and China. Leh-based 14 corps of the army is responsible for the security of LAC, Line of Control (LoC) and Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) at Siachen

“Will Chinese have to apply for domicile rights in J&K or do they get it by default since GOI’s no intrusion into Galwan valley stand has redrawn LaC? Our apprehensions about demographic changes have another dimension to it now,” tweeted Iltija Mufti using her mother Mehbooba Mufti’s handle.

J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president GA Mir said the nation wants to know how the soldiers were killed when nothing has happened. “Who killed our soldiers? PM should tell the nation. He cannot mislead 1.3 billion people,” he said.

Chief spokesman of National Conference Aga Ruhullah Mehdi said the government should clarify under what circumstances 20 soldiers died.

“If the Chinese did not cross into this side of LAC, does that mean 20 soldiers were killed on the Chinese side. It is insulting to the families of soldiers who laid down the lives in the line of duty,” he said.

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