Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday continued his attack on the Centre for its handling of the India-China border conflict.
Gandhi supported his claim by retweeting an ANI report from Wednesday. The article quoted Minister of State for Defence Shripad Yesso Naik saying that the killing of 20 Indian soldiers by Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh on June 15 was “pre-planned”.
“It’s now crystal clear that: 1. The Chinese attack in Galwan was pre-planned; 2. GOI [Government of India] was fast asleep and denied the problem; 3. The price was paid by our martyred Jawans,” Gandhi tweeted.
On Thursday, the Congress leader had asked the government why Indian soldiers were unarmed at the time they were attacked by their Chinese counterparts. “How dare China kill our Indian soldiers?” Gandhi asked, sharing an interview of retired Lieutenant General HS Panag with the Hindustan Times.
In response, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the troops were armed but followed protocol not to use firearms. “Let us get the facts straight,” Jaishankar tweeted in response. “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 and 2005 agreements) not to use firearms during faceoffs.”
On Wednesday, Gandhi had questioned Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on why it took him two days to condole the deaths. “If it was so painful, why insult Indian Army by not naming China in your tweet,” he tweeted. “Why take two days to condole?
The Ministry of External Affairs has alleged that the face-off at Eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley was due to China’s attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in the area. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on June 17 that while India desires peace, she is ready to give a “befitting reply” to external aggression.