Headlines July 4, 2020
PM Modi visits Indian soldiers in Ladakh
Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise visit to Ladakh on Friday where he addressed the Indian soldiers stationed at the forward base. He called them “the braves of the soil”and said that they had sent a strong message to China after the 15 June clash in which 20 soldiers were killed in action.
He said “The age of expansionism is over, this is the age of development. History is witness that expansionist forces have either lost or were forced to turn back”. The PM never once mentioned China.
“Every single Indian across the world, especially in India, has the belief that you all can deliver and keep the nation strong and safe. Your courage is higher than the heights where you are stationed. Your arms are as strong as the mountains that surround you. Your confidence, determination and belief are as atal (immovable) as the peaks here”, he said.
The PM’s visit was a powerful statement against Chinese aggression at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) since early May, which escalated to a serious fight on 15 June in which 20 soldiers were killed and over 70 injured. Army sources said 45 Chinese soldiers were killed or injured.
Chants of “Bharat Mata ki jai” and “Vande Mataram” broke out when PM Modi arrived. A video showed soldiers cheering as the PM walked past them. “Our enemies have seen your Fire and your Fury,” he said, addressing the XIV Corps of the Army in Leh that is called the Fire and Fury Corps.
Meanwhile China responded to PM Modi’s statements sharply and called his statements “groundless and exaggerated”. In a statement it said, It’s groundless to view China as ‘expansionist’, exaggerate and fabricate its disputes with neighbours”.
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