Indian Army has thwarted Chinese troops attempt to “unilaterally change the status quo” by transgressing into LAC at Yangste area of Tawang sector on Friday, the Centre told the parliament on Tuesday even as the opposition demanded a house discussion on the sensitive issue.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh informed the Lok Sabha that the PLA’s attempt was contested by Indian army “in a firm and resolute manner”. “The ensuing face-off led to a physical scuffle in which the Indian Army bravely prevented the PLA from transgressing into our territory and compelled them to return to their posts,” Singh said in the Lower House.

The scuffle led to injuries to a few personnel on both sides. “I wish to share with this house that there are no fatalities or serious casualties on our side, the Minister stated,” he insisted. The Minister, however, did not share the number on soldiers injured on both the side of the LAC.

The fresh face-off in Arunachal Pradesh comes after May 2020 Galwan clashes in Eastern Ladakh that has worsened the relations between the two neighbours leading to build up of forces from both the armies.

Diplomatic channels

Singh stated that due to timely intervention of Indian military commanders, PLA soldiers went back to their locations. As a follow-up of the incident, local commander in the area held a flag meeting with his counterpart on Sunday to discuss the issue in accordance with established mechanisms. “The Chinese side was asked to refrain from such actions and maintain peace and tranquility along the border. The issue has also been taken up with the Chinese side through diplomatic channels,” the Minister stated.

The Minister sought the support of parliament as he assured the MPs that our “forces are committed to protecting our territorial integrity and will continue to thwart any attempt made on it.” Both the armies patrol the area up to their claim lines due to different perception of certain area along the LAC in the Tawang sector, the Army had stated.

The Minister also gave a statement in the Rajya Sabha.

Border issue

The opposition demanded a discussion on the border issue, as they stated that they were not satisfied with mere statement. With government not willing to concede, most opposition MPs staged a walkout in protest from both the houses. Congress, Trinamool Congress and other non-NDA parties had moved adjournment motions for suspension of proceedings to debate on the border clash.

At the time of Galwan clashes too, the Centre had not allowed a discussion on the issue despite similar demands of the opposition.

Counter attack

Union Home Minister Amit Shah launched a counter attack on the Congress, accusing them of disrupting parliament to avoid discussion over the government’s decision to cancel Rajiv Gandhi Foundation’s (RGF’s) Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) permission to see funding from abroad . Asserting that no one can capture one inch of land till Modi government is in power, Shah charged that RGF got ₹1.35 crore from the Chinese Embassy. The foundation’s registration was cancelled, given that the contribution from China was not according to FCRA rules, he said.

Congress President and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said, “We were told by the Leader of the House and Deputy Rajya Sabha Chairman that we would be given a chance for clarification but they did not give it and were not ready to listen to us. This is not good for the country.”

Kharge remarked that opposition parties are with our soldiers and stand together for the unity and integrity of our country.