Amid an ongoing standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Leh along with Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat. The two were briefed by officers of Leh-based HQ 14 Corps, which oversees India’s defences along the LAC in this sector.
“India is proud of the courage of our armed forces. The bravery that you and your compatriots showed, a message has gone to the world about India’s strength,” PM later said.
Earlier today, PM Modi was at one of the forward locations in Nimu. “He reached there early in the morning. He is interacting with personnel of the Army, Air Force and ITBP,” Prasar Bharati said in a tweet. He was briefed by senior officials of the Indian Army.
In his surprise visit to Ladakh, PM interacted with Army, Air Force and ITBP personnel in Nimu, sources said.
He also paid tribute to soldiers who were killed in the face-off with Chinese soldiers in the Galwan Valley on 15 June.
“The bravery that you and your compatriots showed, a message has gone to the world about India’s strength. Nation rests peacefully because of your bravery,” Modi said while addressing the soldiers.
He also said that the resolve for self-reliant India is strengthened because of the “bravery and sacrifice of our soldiers”.
Modi underscored that India had always pursued the path of peace in the world but at the same time, those who are weak can never initiate steps for peace. Bravery and courage is a prerequisite for peace.
He also said that the resolve for self-reliant India is strengthened because of the bravery and sacrifice of our soldiers. “The enemies of Mother India have seen your fire and fury,” said Modi.
Without taking any names, the prime minister said that this is the age of development. “Age of expansionism is over, this is the age of development. History is witness that expansionist forces have either lost or were forced to turn back,” Modi said in his address.
Accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief Manoj Mukund Naravane, PM Modi reached Leh on Friday morning. He went straight to XIV Corps headquarters at Nimu outside Leh to understand the Chinese belligerence in Ladakh with Corps Commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh briefing Narendra Modi in presence of Northern Army Commander Lt Gen YK Joshi.
The decision of PM Modi to go to Leh was kept under wraps till he landed at the airport with the entire coordination done by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Rawat and Naravane. Doval, who came out of self-imposed isolation after two weeks, chose to remain back in Delhi.
Union ministers have hailed PM Modi’s visit, saying it has boosted the morale of the army. Among those who posted about the prime minister’s visit were home minister Amit Shah, defence minister Rajnath Singh, and Union ministers Prakadh Jadavadekar and Smriti Irani.