PM cannot allow Beijing to use his words as a vindication of its position, says Manmohan Singh
India-China Border Face-off Latest News Live Update: Ahead of his visit to Russia for a trilateral meeting with China, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the government has given the forces freedom to “give a befitting reply” if there is further escalation from Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Following a review meeting, the top brass were told that the government has faith in their competence to handle any situation, and that military commanders on the ground “are the best judge of the situation”, sources said.
The 20 Indian soldiers led by Col B Santosh Babu who were killed in the fierce clash with Chinese troops in Galwan valley on the night on June 15-16 suffered serious injuries apparently inflicted by sharp-edged weapons, and multiple fractures, sources said. The hand-to-hand combat between the soldiers on steep and jagged terrain continued for several hours. A number of Indian soldiers died due to drowning/cold, apparently after they were thrown or fell into the river during the clash, it is learnt.
Meanwhile, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hosts the Russia-India-China trilateral foreign ministers’ meeting on June 23 and Singh heads to Russia Monday to attend the Victory Day parade on June 24, Moscow is emerging a key player amid the tension between New Delhi and Beijing. Over the last few weeks, Moscow has been more engaged with New Delhi.