PM Modi meets military brass, top cabinet ministers over Ladakh skirmish

17 June, 2020 | newsx bureau

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday has called for an-all party meeting on 19th June at 5 PM to discuss India-China border issue.

In the midst of soaring border tensions between the troops of India and China in eastern Ladakh, the country’s top political leaders and military brass held a meeting late at night on Tuesday. The conference took place at 10 pm in the wake of the recent clash between Indian and Chinese troops at the Line of Actual Control.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and Army Chief General MM Narvane were present at the meeting. This was the last in a marathon of meetings that took place yesterday.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh also held a meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs on Tuesday to discuss the new developments after army confirmed the death of 20 Indian soldiers in a violent face-off with Chinese troops at Galwan Valley in Ladakh.

News agency ANI has quoted that 43 Chinese soldiers were either seriously injured or were killed in action. However, the statement given by the Indian army has not responded to this. The army had first confirmed the death of a colonel and two jawans due to shoving and pushing at the LAC and further confirmed casualties on both the sides. But in a statement shared later, the army added that 17 more soldiers, who were were critically injured and exposed to sub-zero temperatures,  succumbed to their injuries. The present scenario at the border is one of the gravest escalations with China in five decades.

Earlier, Army chief General MM Narvane, at the passing out parade of the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun, had said that the situation was under control along the entire border with China. However, the clash that took place on Monday night was at the Indian side of the LAC. The Chinese have rebutted this by claiming that the Indian soldiers crossed the border and were unilaterally trying to change the status quo.

According to an Indian army source in the region, the flared up skirmish did not involve any shooting but only “hand to hand violent scuffles.” The Chinese ministry has not revealed the exact number of PLA soldiers injured but has confirmed that the incident did result in casualties on their side as well.

The United States, which has scaled up its animosity with China in Covid-19 times, said that it is closely looking at the critical situation and is hoping for a peaceful resolution while the United Nations has reiterated both countries to hold maximum restraint. The clash on the Galwan River was the outcome of a local situation going out of hand following weeks of tension since May 9 when several Indian and Chinese soldiers were injured in a scuffle at Naku La in Sikkim.

Amid pressure to take stern action in this delicate situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for an-all party meeting on 19th June at 5 PM in New Delhi. Presidents of various political parties would also be taking part in this virtual meeting.