‘How Was China Able to Capture India’s Soil?’ Ask Sonia Gandhi
NEW DELHI : Prime Minister should come forward and explain to the nation how China was able to capture India’s soil and why 20 Indian soldiers were martyred,” Congress Party chief Sonia Gandhi said.
She said that the Prime Minister should brief the country on the status as it is right now. “Are our soldiers and officers still untraceable? How many soldiers and officers are critically injured? China has captured which all areas and where? To deal with this situation, what is the government’s thought, policy and action?”
Questioning the silence of India’s ruling establishment on the incursion by Chinese forces in Indian territory, Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to brief the nation on the situation at the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh.
On Monday evening, a clash in Ladakh’s Galwan valley area cost the lives of 20 Indian soldiers – some of them bludgeoned to death. The Chinese side also sustained losses, sources had said, in the violence that had been first in nearly five decades.
Paying her homage to the 20 Indian soldiers killed in a violent confrontation with Chinese troops in Galwan valley, Gandhi in a video message said the government needed to share with the people of this country its policy and action plan in dealing with the current crisis.
“The martyrdom of 20 of our soldiers…has shook the conscience of the entire nation…Everyone knows that for the past one-and-a-half months China has infiltrated our territory in Ladakh. Today when in India there is great anguish, the Prime Minister should come forward and explain to the nation how China was able to capture India’s soil and why 20 Indian soldiers were martyred,” Gandhi said.
Assuring the government that the Congress was with the government and the forces in this time of crisis, Gandhi expressed hope that in the present challenging time “entire country will unitedly stand against the enemy.”
A few minutes after Sonia Gandhi’s statement, Prime Minister Modi in a video statement said that India wants peace but, when provoked, had the capability to respond appropriately. “The sacrifices of our soldiers will not go in vain,” Modi said before observing a two-minute silence along with Chief Ministers of several states with whom he is now discussing India’s preparations and policy of fighting Covid-19 pandemic.
The opposition has been repeatedly questioning the government over its silence on reports of China capturing part of Galwan valley. According to some reports, China was in possession of around 60 square kilometre of Indian territory. The government has so far not denied any of these claims.
“Words cannot describe the pain I feel for the officers and men who sacrificed their lives for our country. My condolences to all their loved ones. We stand with you in this difficult time,” former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted after deaths of 20 soldiers were reported.
“The nation is waiting for an official statement from the Ministry of Defence or Army HQ. Will it come tonight? The PM has maintained a worrying silence since May 5. Can you imagine any other Head of Government not saying a word for 7 weeks since the intrusion of foreign troops into a country?” asked former Union minister P. Chidambaram in a series of tweets on Tuesday.
In a video message, Ms. Gandhi said ‘the martyrdom of our soldiers on the border has shaken up the entire country’s inner conscience’ and offered her condolences to the families of those killed.
“For the past one and half months, Chinese troops have infiltrated into Indian territory in Ladakh. When there is so much outrage in the country over this, the Prime Minister should come forward and tell the truth to the nation”, she said.
“I would request the Prime Minister to assure the nation on the basis of truth and facts. How did the Chinese occupy our land and why did we lose 20 of our brave soldiers? What is the situation on the ground now? Are our soldiers in the captivity of the Chinese? How many of our soldiers have been injured? How much of our territory have been occupied by the Chinese and where all have they occupied?”.
The Congress stood behind the Indian Army, the families of every soldier and the government, she said. “What is the thinking and strategy of the Government of India to deal with and resolve this situation”, she asked.