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LAC standoff | No one can touch an inch of India’s land: Rajnath Singh

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit to Ladakh to carry out a comprehensive review of the security scenario in the wake of the border standoff with China.  

No country in the world can touch or occupy even an inch of India’s territory, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh asserted in Ladakh on Friday.

Mr. Singh’s comments came in the aftermath of standoffs with China on the border, including the killing of 20 Indian soldiers by Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley on June 15.

LAC standoff | Disengagement not as expected at some places, says government official

“The progress in the talks [with China] should lead to a resolution of the issue”. However, there was no guarantee to what extent the issue would be resolved, he told troops at the Lukung Border Observation Post (BOP) near Pangong Tso.

Mr. Singh was accompanied by Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat and Army chief Gen. Manoj Naravane.

Pictured holding a machine gun, he said India desired peace, not conflict. “But it’s in our character that we have never tried to hurt the self-respect of any other country. However, if anyone tries to hurt India’s self-respect, then we will not tolerate this in any circumstances and give them a fitting response.”

Mr, Singh is on a two-day visit to Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir to review the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the Line of Control (LoC).

Battle drills

Upon arrival in Leh, Mr. Singh witnessed a high-altitude joint airborne exercise by troops, including some battle drills by troops of the Ladakh Scouts, a defence source said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh arrives in Leh. He is accompanied by CDC Gen Bipin Rawat and Army Chief Gen Manoj Naravane.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh arrives in Leh. He is accompanied by CDC Gen Bipin Rawat and Army Chief Gen Manoj Naravane.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The exercise at Stanka near Leh showcased the application of integrated combined force in high-altitude terrain involving newer generation IAF helicopters and special forces in vertical envelopment and ground forces, including mechanised columns, effecting speedy link-up, the source stated. 

Thereafter, Mr. Singh visited Lukung in eastern Ladakh, where he was briefed on the security situation and operational preparedness along the LAC as well as along the LoC in Kargil and Dras sectors, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

LAC standoff | Lesson from Doklam: No de-escalation until full return of status quo

Modi’s visit

On July 3, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise visit to Leh and interacted with troops at Nimu.

Last week, troops of India and China undertook disengagement from the stand-off points at Galwan and Gogra and a partial disengagement at Hot Springs and Pangong Tso. Further steps on disengagement were discussed at the fourth round of talks at the Corps Commander level on June 30 and they are yet to be taken forward.

In the afternoon, Mr. Singh reached Srinagar from Ladakh where he was briefed in detail about the situation on the LoC, in the hinterland and successful counter-terrorist operations by 15 Corps Commander Lt. Gen. B.S. Raju.

LAC standoff | Disengagement process intricate: Army

Later in the evening, Mr. Singh chaired a security review meeting, which was attended by the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir and other senior officials from the security forces, civil administration and intelligence agencies, the Ministry statement added.


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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 12:15:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/defence-minister-rajnath-singh-arrives-in-leh-to-carry-out-security-review/article32109065.ece

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