NEW DELHI: The armed forces have always shown remarkable courage and steadfastly protected India's sovereignty, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday, paying tribute to the army personnel killed in a violent face-off with Chinese troops in east Ladakh.
Twenty Indian Army personnel including a colonel were killed in a fierce 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 in the region.
"Tributes to the martyrs who lost their lives protecting our nation in eastern Ladakh. Their supreme sacrifice will never be forgotten," the prime minister said in a tweet.
Tributes to the martyrs who lost their lives protecting our nation in Eastern Ladakh. Their supreme sacrifice will… https://t.co/awXJ8DIxcE— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1592412331000
He also shared a video clip of his opening remarks at the chief ministers' virtual conference on the coronavirus pandemic.
India is proud of the valour of its armed forces. They have always shown remarkable courage and steadfastly protected India's sovereignty, he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, in his opening remarks on the second day of the virtual meet with chief ministers on the COVID-19 pandemic, Modi said, "The country would be proud that our soldiers died fighting ('woh maarte-maarte mare hain')."
Expressing condolences to the families of the army men killed in the face-off, the prime minister said the country's brave sons have made the supreme sacrifice while protecting the motherland in the Galwan Valley.
"Today, the whole country is with you. This sacrifice of our martyrs will not go in vain. Whatever be the situation, India will firmly defend its self-respect, every inch of land," he said.
The prime minister also asked those participating in the virtual interaction to observe a two-minute silence as a mark of respect for the slain soldiers.