20 Soldiers' Sacrifice Will Not Go In Vain; India Can Give Fitting Reply: PM Modi

 - Sakshi Post

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday assured the nation that the sacrifice of Indian soldiers killed in the violent clash with Chinese troops at Galwan Valley of Ladakh would not go in vain. In a stern message to China, the prime minister said that India is a peace-loving country but is capable of giving a fitting reply, if provoked. "No one should be in any doubt about this. India wants peace but when provoked, it is capable of giving a fitting reply, whatever the situation is," Modi issued an obvious warning to China in the wake of the border fight on Monday night which took weeks of LAC tension to a flashpoint.

The prime minister addressed a virtual meeting with chief ministers of all the states on Wednesday. The meeting was convened to discuss the way forward in tackling the coronavirus pandemic across the country. The prime minister observed a two-minute silence before starting the meeting as a mark of respect for the 20 soldiers who laid down their lives for the country.

Speaking soon after, he said: "The country will be proud to know that our soldiers died fighting the Chinese."

"I would like to assure the nation that the sacrifice of our jawans will not be in vain. For us, the unity and sovereignty of the country is most important," said Modi. The prime minister breaking his silence comes at a time when he is accused of being tightlipped on the simmering tensions with China and also the killings in the violent clash on Monday night. Opposition leaders like AICC president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda have been targetting the prime minister for not coming out with his perspective on the growing border tensions on the eastern front.

The Prime Minister also clarified that India wants differences should not become disputes. "We never provoke anyone but we will not compromise with integrity and sovereignty. Whenever time has come, we have proved our strength and capabilities in protecting our integrity and sovereignty. Sacrifice and resilience is in our national character. But valour and courage is also our country's character," PM Modi warned.

The prime minister has called an all-party meeting on Friday to deliberate on the situation on the India-China border post the bloody Ladakh fight. Chiefs of political parties have been called for the 5-pm meeting which will be held via video-conferencing on Friday.

Even as there is clarity that 20 Indian soldiers were killed in Monday night's clash, China has been maintaining utmost secrecy on the fatalities on its side. Army sources have been maintaining that China too had suffered heavy casualties in the ugly clash. Some sources in the Indian Army claim that at least 45 Chinese soldiers have been killed or have received grievous injuries at Galwan Valley. There were "casualties on both sides". After confirming the death of three soldiers, including a Colonel, on Tuesday morning, the army added that 17 more critically wounded soldiers were "exposed to sub-zero temperatures" and died of their injuries.

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