Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that India’s soldiers had given a befitting reply to those who challenged the country’s sovereignty, from the Line of Control to the Line of Actual Control. The prime minister was addressing the country on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day

“From LoC [Line of Control] to LAC [Line of Actual Control], whenever India has been challenged, our soldiers have given a fitting response in a language they understand,” he said.

On June 15, Indian and Chinese troops clashed in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, along the Line of Actual Control on June 15, during which 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed. It was the worst assault between the two nations since 1967. Since then, four round of talks have been held between the commanders of the two armies to work out details of disengagement from the stand-off areas.

“What our jawans can do, what the country can do, the world has seen in Ladakh,” the prime minister said. “Today, I salute all those brave soldiers from the Red Fort.” He added that India has been committed in its fight against terrorism or expansionism.

On Friday, President Ram Nath Kovind had hailed the 20 Indian Army soldiers, who were killed during the clashes in the Galwan Valley, and said that India was capable of responding to those who challenge it. “At a time when the world needs to live as one family, our neighbour was giving shape to their expansionist policies,” he said in reference to China. “Though we believe in peace, we can give a fitting reply if anyone challenges us.”

On India’s 74th Independence Day, Modi unfurled the national flag at Delhi’s Red Fort and paid tributes to freedom fighters and praised health workers for their fight against the coronavirus crisis.

Modi added that self-reliance must be the mantra of Independent India and said that Covid-19 was not a hurdle big enough to impede the country’s “self-reliant growth”.

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