Modi reaches Ladakh to assess border situation with China

Arun Joshi

Tribune News Service

Jammu, July 3

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday reached Ladakh to assess the situation on the China border where a standoff position is continuing for the past nearly two months, in a surprise move to send a message of solidarity with the soldiers and people in Ladakh.

It is the Prime Minister’s first visit to Ladakh since early 2019. This time, the visit assumes significance as it is a direct on-the-ground message to the soldiers that the nation’s top leadership is with them.

Sources said the PM would assess the border situation.

Immediately after  his arrival, he took briefing from 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh about the  situation on the LAC and the progress of talks that the army commander had had with his Chinese counterpart  Major General Lin Liu in Chushul-Moldo on three occasions last month.

The visit has come in less than three weeks after the June 15 clashes in Galwan Valley in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed. China also had lost the soldiers but till date has not disclosed the number of casualties.

It is also to fend off the criticism mounted by the opposition that had raised questions on his views on the highly tense situation at the LAC, loosely defined as the border line between India and China in the Himalayas.

Much of his messaging will depend on what he tells the troops and their commanders on the ground.

Earlier, Modi was scheduled to visit Leh on Yoga Day on June 21, but that was put off because of the rising cases of coronavirus and the heightened tensions, particularly after the Galwan Valley clashes.


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