India-China face-off: Indian troops can use firearms if required: Army

Updated: Jun 22, 2020, 08:46 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviews border situation on Sunday; military sources say army Indian troops can use firearms if required: Army

BJP activists burn an effigy of Chinese President Xi Jinping during a protest against the killing of 20 Indian Army soldiers in Ladakh's Galwan Valley by the Chinese troops, in Patna, on Sunday. Pic/PTI
BJP activists burn an effigy of Chinese President Xi Jinping during a protest against the killing of 20 Indian Army soldiers in Ladakh's Galwan Valley by the Chinese troops, in Patna, on Sunday. Pic/PTI

The armed forces deployed along the 3,500-km de-facto border with China have been given "full freedom" to give a "befitting" response to any Chinese misadventure, government sources said. Following the Galwan incident, military sources said Indian troops will no longer be bound by the long-held practice of not using firearms in face-offs. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the situation in eastern Ladakh at a meeting with the top military brass on Sunday. The meeting was attended by Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Army Chief Gen MM Naravane, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria.

India has already mobilised fighter jets and sent thousands of additional Army troops to forward locations along the border with China after 20 Indian Army personnel were killed in a brutal attack by Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley on June 15.

Members of Muslim community stage a protest against Chinese President Xi Jinping in Bhopal, on Sunday. Pic/PTI
Members of Muslim community stage a protest against Chinese President Xi Jinping in Bhopal, on Sunday. Pic/PTI

The clash in Galwan Valley, the worst cross-border violence in 45 years, significantly frayed ties between the two countries, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi sending a strong message to China that "India wants peace but if provoked, India is capable of giving a befitting reply".

In the meeting on Sunday, Singh told the top military officers to maintain a strict vigil on Chinese activities around the land border, the airspace and in strategic sea lanes, the sources said.

Following the Galwan incident, military sources said Indian troops will no longer be bound by the long-held practice of not using firearms in faceoffs. The armed forces were told to be fully ready to give a befitting reply to any Chinese misadventure, the sources said, adding a "tough" approach is being adopted to guard the border. Seventy-six Indian soldiers were also injured in the Galwan Valley clash. China's People's Liberation Army has not yet talked about the number of casualties it suffered.

Jun 15
Day 20 soldiers were killed in an attack by Chinese troops

76
No. of soldiers who were injured in the attack

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