Congress seeks answer from PM Modi over killing of Indian soldiers in clashes with...

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Congress has accused the centre of ‘maintaining silence’ on the issue of violent border stand-off with China across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and defence minister Rajnath Singh take the nation into confidence following the killing of three Indian Army personnel during the de-escalation at the line of actual control (LAC) with China on Monday night.

An official statement posted on the party’s twitter handle, says the government must come forward to explain the circumstances of the latest development and lists four questions for the centre to answer.

“Will the PM and the Rakhsa Mantri take the nation into confidence as to how could our officer and soldiers be killed as the Chinese were reportedly withdrawing from our territory in the Galwan valley? How and under what circumstances were our officer and soldiers martyred?” Congress asked in one of the questions.

Earlier in the afternoon, the army issued a statement which said it had suffered multiple casualties, including that of an officer, in a “violent face off” with China’s People’s Liberation Army on Monday night in eastern Ladakh. It also added that there were casualties on both sides.

It added that the incident happened during the de-escalation process in the Galwan valley.

HT learns that the officer killed in the clashes last night was the commanding officer of the unit involved and that one of the other casualties is that of a JCO. These are the first Indian casualties in a clash with the PLA since 1975 when an Indian patrol was ambushed by Chinese troops in Arunachal Pradesh.

The army also said that “senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting to defuse the situation”.

Also Read: Indian, Chinese army officials hold meeting to defuse tension after face-off in Ladakh

All the deaths are from thrown stones and rods that were used by the soldiers, people familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity. The army, however, did not comment on this.

Also Read: Indian officer, two others killed in clash with PLA; casualties on both sides

The Congress statement said that “in the last five decades not a single casualty or martyrdom of our soldiers has occurred or happened on the Indo-China border” and demanded that the prime minister takes the nation into confidence.

“Will the Prime Minister and Defence Minister now come forward to tell the Nation as to how much of our territory has been illegally occupied by the Chinese, post April/May 2020, and what are the circumstances that have led to the killing of our brave officer and soldiers by the Chinese, instead of the Chinese being forced to retreat to their original position on ‘Line of Actual Control’? Will the Prime Minister come forward and take the nation into confidence,” asks the statement.

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