Defence Minister gave impression that de-escalation was smooth; leadership must answer: Veerappa Moily

M. Veerappa Moily  

The national leadership must explain how the situation at the India-China border in eastern Ladakh deteriorated to the extent of a violent clash, Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily said on Wednesday, alleging that the Defence Minister gave the impression that the de-escalation process was going on smoothly.

India should galvanise international support to de-escalate the present situation to defeat China’s “sinister move”, the former Union Minister said in a statement.

Also read | There has been no firing on the border since 1975

The bravery demonstrated by the men of Indian Army led by Col. Santosh Babu in thwarting the Chinese forces is quite monumental, he said.

“The entire nation should bow down to the martyrs for their total dedication and the highest level of patriotism demonstrated by them in defending our country,” Mr. Moily said.

Asserting that de-escalation of the present crisis is the need of the hour, Mr. Moily said India cannot afford to concede even an inch of land within the LAC or lose more men.

Also read: What explains the India-China border flare-up?

The Prime Minister, Defence Minister and the Minister of External Affairs should display the highest level of diplomacy, he said.

The country cannot be kept in the dark on protecting borders and doubts about the extent of aggression on the part of the Chinese should be made clear, he asserted.

“Even on the day of the brutal attack, the Defence Minister (Rajnath Singh) has given an impression to the nation that no aggression has taken place and the de-escalation process is smooth,” he said.

“Our countrymen have been taken by shock and surprise by this serious situation at our borders. The national leadership will have to explain how the situation has led to this climax,” he said.

Twenty Indian Army personnel including a colonel were killed in the clash with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday night, the biggest military confrontation in over five decades that has significantly escalated the already volatile border standoff between the two countries.

Watch | India-China border standoff explained

The Army initially said on Tuesday that an officer and two soldiers were killed. But in a late evening statement it revised the figure to 20, saying 17 others who “were critically injured in the line of duty and exposed to sub-zero temperatures at the standoff location succumbed to their injuries.”

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 10:38:06 AM |

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