Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Sunday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid reports of Chinese incursions into Indian territory in Ladakh and Uttarakhand.
“China + Pakistan + Mr 56 = Increase in Chinese occupation of Indian territory,” Gandhi said in a tweet. He was referring to a comment made by Modi in an election rally where he claimed to have a “56-inch chest” that would protect India from any attacks.
Gandhi also posted a photo of a news report on Indian Army chief MM Naravane saying that increase in deployment of Chinese troops in the eastern Ladakh region was a matter of concern for the armed forces.
On Saturday, Naravane had said that has been a considerable increase in the deployment of Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh and northern front, right up to India’s eastern command.
The Indian Army chief was on a two-day visit to eastern Ladakh to review India’s operational preparedness at the Line of Actual Control.
India and China have been locked in a border standoff since their troops clashed in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June last year. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clash. China put the number of casualties on its side at four.
Last week, a report in The Economic Times said that more than 100 Chinese troops had transgressed into Indian territory on August 30 through the border at Barahoti ridge in Uttarakhand.
The troops had reportedly entered five kilometres into Indian territory and destroyed a bridge in the area.
The Indian government did not give an official statement on the reported transgression through the border in Barahoti.
However, on Thursday, India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that the Chinese military’s “provocative behaviour” and “unilateral attempts” to change the status quo along the Line of Actual control in Ladakh has disturbed peace in the region.
He was responding to China’s allegation on Wednesday that the “root cause” of the tensions between the two countries was India following a “forward policy” and “illegally” encroaching on Chinese territory.
The comments from the Indian Army and the foreign ministry came as the two countries sort out tension along the border in Ladakh.