‘If anyone dares…’: Rajnath Singh amid Ladakh border stand-off
The comments come amid heightened tensions in the Ladakh sector where both Indian and Chinese armies have deployed almost 100,000 soldiers and advanced weaponry in their forward and depth areas.Updated: Aug 14, 2020 21:06 IST
In the midst of border tensions with China in the Ladakh sector, defence minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said the country reposed full faith in its soldiers and no one could grab even an inch of India’s territory while they guard the country’s frontiers.
In a radio address to soldiers on the eve of Independence Day, Singh said, “If anyone dares to do this, then they will have to face dire consequences as they have in the past.”
The comments come amid heightened tensions in the Ladakh sector where both Indian and Chinese armies have deployed almost 100,000 soldiers and advanced weaponry in their forward and depth areas.
He said, “Whatever we do in the realm of national security is for self-defense and not for attacking others. If the enemy country ever attacks us, then like every time we will give them a befitting reply.” Military talks with China on disengagement have hit a roadblock due to serious differences between the two armies.
He said history was witness to the fact that India had neither attacked any country nor grabbed anyone’s territory. “But this doesn’t mean we will allow anyone to hurt our self-respect.”
Singh also paid tributes to the 20 Indian soldiers killed in a brutal skirmish with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Galwan Valley on June 15.
“The country can never forget their bravery and supreme sacrifice. I want to assure their families that they are not alone and the entire country stands with them,” the minister said.
The PLA lost an unspecified number of soldiers in the clash that has dealt a severe blow to the bilateral relationship and created a huge trust deficit between the two armies.
Singh said the government was taking the necessary steps to meet the operational requirements of the soldiers and keep their morale high. Recalling that Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the creation of the post of chief of defence staff in his 2019 Independence Day speech, Singh said the CDS has ensured better coordination between the three services.
Talking about the Indian Air Force’s new Rafales, the minister said the jets had begun arriving and their induction marked the beginning of a new era in the country’s military history.
Five of the 36 Rafale jets ordered from France reached their home base in Ambala on July 29.
Singh said the IAF’s latest Sukhoi-30 squadron based in Thanjavur would give India “strategic depth” in the Indian Ocean.