'No one entered Indian territory, no posts taken’: PM at all-party meet on Ladakh clash
New Delhi, June 19: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday denied any Chinese intrusion to Indian territory, saying that no one entered Indian territory nor were Indian posts taken over.
Addressing the all-party meeting on the LAC situation, PM Modi said neither have the Chinese intruded into India's territory nor has any post been taken over by them.
The categorical statement by the prime minister came in the wake of reports that Chinese military has transgressed into the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de-facto border, in several areas of eastern Ladakh including Pangong Tso and Galwan Valley.
"20 of our jawans were martyred, but those who dared Bharat Mata, they were taught a lesson," PM Modi was quoted as saying by ANI.
The Prime Minister said that Indian armed forces are doing what they have to do to protect the country, whether it is deployment, action or counter-action.
Highlighting India's potential, the PM said no one can take even an "inch of the land".
"Today, we possess the capability that no one can eye even one inch of our land. India's armed forces have the capability to move into multiple sectors at one go," said the prime minister.
"While on the one hand, the army has been given freedom to take necessary steps, India has also conveyed its position clearly to China through diplomatic means," he said, adding that India today has such capability that no one can even dare to look towards "an inch of our land".
Modi said the entire country is hurt and angry at the steps taken by China at the LAC and underscored that India wants peace and friendship, but upholding sovereignty is "foremost".
The nearly four-hour meeting through video conference was attended by top opposition leaders including Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee and Sitaram Yechury among others.
The government said the leaders of the political parties hailed the bravery displayed by the armed forces in Ladakh and reposed faith in the leadership of the prime minister in this hour of need.
They expressed commitment to stand united with the government.
The clash in Galwan Valley was the worst cross border confrontation between the two sides in 45 years. While India lost 20 soldiers, China's People's Liberation Army has not yet talked about the number of casualties it suffered.
The prime minister's comment that Indian soldiers taught a "lesson" to those who dared to look towards India is seen as reference to casualties on the Chinese side.
The Chinese soldiers used stones, nail-studded sticks, iron rods and clubs in carrying out brutal attacks on Indian soldiers after they protested the erection of a surveillance post by China on the Indian side of the LAC in Galwan.
The two armies were engaged in a standoff in Galwan and several other areas of eastern Ladakh since May 5 when the two sides clashed on the banks of the Pangong Tso.
The situation in the area deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent face-off on May 5 and 6.
The incident in Pangong Tso was followed by a similar incident in north Sikkim on May 9. The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long LAC.
China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet, while India contests it. Prior to the clashes, both sides have been asserting that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas.