- President Ram Nath Kovind, on the eve of the country’s 74th Independence Day, paid tributes to 20 Indian soldiers who were killed in a violent faceoff with the Chinese army along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh in June.
- Without naming China, Kovind spoke about how “some in our neighbourhood tried to carry out their misadventure of expansion” while the world community was busy fighting against the greatest challenge before humanity -coronavirus.
- Kovind, the supreme commander of the Indian armed forces, described the martyrs as “worthy sons of Bharat Mata” and cautioned that “their bravery in combat has demonstrated that while we believe in peace, we are also capable of giving a befitting response to any attempt of aggression.”
- In July, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Ladakh, he too, without referring to China directly, said that the “age of expansionism” was over and countries across the world were now witnessing the era of development.
- Asserting that all of Ladakh was India’s pride and that the people of Ladakh were patriots, and claiming that India had, for centuries, given a strong response to “aggressors” and had emerged stronger after each attack, Modi said that “enemies” had seen both the “fire and fury” of Indian soldiers.
- Earlier this evening, India called on China to work with it to complete the stalled process of disengagement and de-escalation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as the future of bilateral ties depends on the situation along the border.
- External affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava outlined India’s position on the need to complete the disengagement process “at the earliest” against the backdrop of reports of China’s reluctance to vacate positions in territory that India considers to be on its side of the LAC.