Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi slammed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his silence on the escalating tensions between India and China, a day after a violent face-off at the Himalayas between the two countries’ armies resulted in 20 Indian soldiers getting killed.
“Why is the PM silent? Why is he hiding? Enough is enough. We need to know what has happened. How dare China kill our soldiers? How dare they take our land?” he tweeted.
At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh after a “violent face-off” ensued on Monday night, reported Indian media on Tuesday, quoting the army.
According to ANI, both sides ‘disengaged’ after 17 Indian troops were injured. The injured troops “exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain have succumbed to their injuries”, ANI had said. This brought the death toll, from the earlier reported three to 20.
PM Modi has so far kept mum over the incident, leading to anger and dissent within India and calls from opposition parties urging the BJP government to take the nation into confidence as to what happened in the disputed area.
Beijing accuses India of crossing border, ‘attacking personnel’
China, in response to India’s statement, accused Indian troops of crossing a disputed border between the two countries, reported AFP.
Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian blamed Indian troops crossed the borderline twice on Monday, “provoking and attacking Chinese personnel, resulting in a serious physical confrontation between border forces on the two sides”.
Beijing has lodged “strong protests and solemn representations” to Delhi, he said.
“We once again solemnly ask the Indian side to follow our consensus, strictly regulate its front-line troops and do not cross the line, do not stir up troubles or make unilateral moves that may complicate matters,” Press Trust of India quoted Lijian as saying.
He added, “China and Indian side agreed to resolve the bilateral issues through dialogue to ease the border situation and maintain peace and tranquility in border areas.”
Editor-in-chief of the Chinese publication Global Times had taken to Twitter and revealed that the Chinese side also suffered casualties in the Galwan Valley clash. “Based on what I know, Chinese side also suffered casualties in the Galwan Valley physical clash. I want to tell the Indian side, don’t be arrogant and misread China’s restraint as being weak. China doesn’t want to have a clash with India, but we don’t fear it,” he had tweeted.