Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said India wants an end to the border tension with China in eastern Ladakh, but at the same time asserted that Indian troopers will never allow even an inch of the country to be taken away by anyone, reported Press Trust of India.
The defence minister made the remarks after performing “Shastra Puja” — the customary worship of weapons — at the Sukna-based headquarters of the Indian Army’s 33 Corps in Darjeeling district of West Bengal on the occasion of Dussehra.
The defence minister was scheduled to perform the puja at Sherathang, a high-altitude border area near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Sikkim, but could not go there due to inclement weather, officials said.
“India wants an end to the ongoing border tension with China and restoration of peace. This is our objective. But at times, some nefarious incidents keep happening. I am very confident that our soldiers will never allow even an inch of our land to be taken away by anyone,” Mr. Singh said after performing the “puja”.
Chief of Army Staff Gen. MM Naravane and several senior officers of the Army were present on the occasion when the defence minister performed the “puja” at the key military base, which is responsible for guarding the LAC in the Sikkim sector.
After performing the puja, Singh inaugurated a new road in Sikkim through a video-conference from Sukna.
“I can say with confidence and on the basis of concrete information that the courage and deeds of Indian soldiers during whatever has happened at the India-China border in Ladakh recently will be written in golden letters by the historians,” the minister said without elaborating.
Twenty Indian troopers were killed by a group of Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on June 15, an incident that had significantly escalated the border tension between the two countries.
Almost all formations of the Indian Army along the LAC are on a very high level of alert in view of the border row with China in eastern Ladakh.
The defence minister arrived at the Sukna-based headquarters of the 33 Corps on Saturday.