In an indirect message to China, Union defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday that though India is a peace loving country, it is capable of giving a befitting reply to aggression.
“India is a priest of world peace. We have never indulged in aggression with any country in the world, including our neighbours, but we are capable of giving a befitting reply to those who shows aggression towards us,” said Singh, while inaugurating the 12 strategic roads built by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) — 10 in Arunachal Pradesh and one each in Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir. The event was held in Assam’s Lakhimpur, close to the border with Arunachal Pradesh.
Singh’s statement comes in the backdrop of China continuing to hold on to positions in Hot Springs and Gogra Post on the border, a year after the Galwan Valley skirmish on June 15, 2020, that left 20 Indian soldiers and an undisclosed number of Chinese troops dead and created a huge trust deficit between the two sides.
China also claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet.
In the past, there have been instances of Chinese soldiers entering Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh, which shares a 1126-km border with China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. There has also been reports of construction of villages on the Chinese side close to the international boundary.
The Union minister also hailed the “bravery, valour and sacrifice” of Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the nation during the Galwan clash.