'Price paid by our jawans': Rahul Gandhi sharpens attack on govt on Ladakh face...

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday sharpened attack on the Indian government over the face-off between the Indian and Chinese sodiers in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.

“It’s now crystal clear that: 1. The Chinese attack in Galwan was pre-planned; 2. GOI was fast asleep and denied the problem; 3. The price was paid by our martyred Jawans,” Gandhi said on Twitter.

It’s now crystal clear that:

1. The Chinese attack in Galwan was pre-planned.

2. GOI was fast asleep and denied the problem.

3. The price was paid by our martyred Jawans.https://t.co/ZZdk19DHcG

— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 19, 2020

He attached a news report with his tweet in which Union minister Shripad Naik said that the June 15 attack was “pre-planned by China”. He had made the remarks on Wednesday and said that Indian forces will give a befitting reply.

Gandhi had attacked the government on Thursday too, asking whether the Indian soldiers were sent to the site of the clash in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley “unarmed”.

“China has committed a crime by killing India’s unarmed soldiers. I want to know who sent these unarmed soldiers in the harm’s way and why. Who is responsible?” Gandhi had asked in Hindi during an 18-second video clip posted by him on Twitter.

The government said that soldiers involved in the Monday night clash with Chinese troops were carrying weapons and ammunition but did not open fire as they were following border agreements between the two countries.

“Let us get the facts straight. All troops on border duty always carry arms, especially when leaving post. Those at Galwan on 15 June did so. Long-standing practice (as per 1996 & 2005 agreements) not to use firearms during faceoffs,” external affairs minister S Jaishankar tweeted, responding to a post by Gandhi.

Jaishankar and Gandhi were both reacting to an HT interview with Lt Gen (retired) HS Panag, who said “soldiers do not shoot arms to avoid escalation of the situation”. Panag also said: “The Chinese, by design, came with clubs, with knuckle dusters.”

Indian and Chinese soldiers engaged in their first deadly conflict in at least 45 years at Patrol Point 14 in Galwan Valley, resulting in 20 deaths on the Indian side, including that of a commanding officer, and possibly 43 casualties including injuries on the Chinese side during the seven-hour brutal brawl that also involved hand-to-hand fighting.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said on Wednesday that India is a peace loving country but can give befitting reply if provoked. He had made the remarks ahead of a video conference with chief ministers to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the country.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh had mourned the death of the 20 soldiers, saying the nation will never forget their supreme sacrifice.

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