JAMMU: No Indian soldier received any serious injury in the recent clashes with the Chinese troops along the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh, and the strong retaliation by the Indian Armed Forces in Tawang area forced Chinese PLA to retreat to their positions, said Defence Minister Rajanth Singh on Tuesday, in first official statement from government on the matter.
“Our armed forces are always ready to stop any attempt of transgression at our borders,” he said, while addressing the Parliament,
The two armies clashed in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh on December 9 and the face-off resulted in minor injuries to a few personnel from both sides, the Indian Army said on Monday.
On Tuesday, the Defence Minister held a high-level meeting with Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, Army Chief General Manoj Pande and other top officials to discuss the security situation.
At 12 pm, he briefed the Lok Sabha on the incident.
“On December 9 in Yangtse area of Tawang sector PLA troops encroached upon and attempted to change status quo. This attempt was tackled by our troops in a determined manner. Our troops bravely stopped PLA from encroaching upon our territory and forced them to go back to their post,” Singh said.
“In this face-off, few soldiers on both sides suffered injuries. I’d like to tell this House that none of our soldiers died or suffered any serious injury. Due to the timely intervention of Indian military commanders, PLA soldiers have retreated to their own locations,” he added.
Singh further said, “After this incident, on 11th December the local commander of the area held a flag meeting with his Chinese counterpart under the established system & discussed this incident. The Chinese side was refused all such actions and told to maintain peace at the border.”
“I also assure the House that our Army is capable of defending the territorial integrity of the country. Our Army is ready to tackle any transgression. I firmly believe the House will support the bravery and courage of our armed forces,” said the Defence Minister.
Singh said that the Chinese side was warned against such actions and told to maintain peace.
“The issue has been raised to a diplomatic level as well,” he added.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla told the protesting MPs that they should “unite to send message of support for armed forces” after defence minister’s statement in the lower house.
However, the Opposition leaders staged a walkout soon after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh concluded his statement on the Tawang faceoff incident, in Lok Sabha.
The Army on Monday had said there are areas of “differing perception” along the LAC in the Tawang sector.
“In certain areas along the LAC in the Tawang Sector in Arunachal Pradesh there are areas of differing perception, wherein both sides patrol the area up to their claim lines. This has been the trend since 2006,” the Army said.
It is the first major clash between the Indian and Chinese armies since August 2020 near Rinchen La in eastern Ladakh.
Several Congress MPs earlier demanded a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the situation at the border.The Congress MPs gave adjournment notices in both houses of Parliament to discuss the border situation with China.
While Manish Tewari has given a notice in the lower house, Congress leaders Randeep Surjewala and Syed Nasir Hussain have given similar adjournment notices in the upper house.
In his notice, Surjewala said all business of the House be suspended and the “brazen Chinese transgressions and illegal occupations in Indian territory and the Chinese provocation at Tawang sector” be discussed urgently.
He urged Prime Minister Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to make a statement and hold a discussion over the issue in the Rajya Sabha.
Similar unconfirmed reports of Chinese transgressions are coming from Doklam area, he said.
“All these disconcerting reports of Chinese transgressions and illegal occupations require suspension of the business of the House of the day in order to apprise the House and the nation about growing Chinese threat to our national security and territorial integrity.
“Public interest demands that the prime minister and defence minister make a statement in the House and apprise the nation of the Chinese transgressions into Indian territory across the LAC, since April 2020 till date,” Surjewala said in his notice.
Tewari also gave a notice in the Lok Sabha, saying clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in Tawang are “serious” and the House needs to discuss the matter.
“I urge the Government to inform the House of the situation in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh and the overall border situation with China because it concerns India’s sovereignty and independence,” Tewari said in his notice.
Several other Congress members in the Rajya Sabha, including Rajni Patil, Ranjeet Ranjan, Shaktisinh Gohil and Jebi Mather, also moved similar adjournment notices demanding a discussion on the issue.