Wednesday, June 17, 2020

World condoles death of Indian soldiers, urges India, China to de-escalate

Representative Image

New Delhi [India], June 17 (ANI): The violent face-off between two Asian giants India and China drew wide international attention with the United States, which is at loggerheads with China, saying that it was closely monitoring the situation between Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control.

"We note the Indian Army has announced that 20 soldiers lost their lives. We offer our condolences to their families," a State Department Spokesperson told ANI

Russia, which shares close ties with both India and China, welcomed efforts at de-escalation.

"We welcome all steps aimed at de-escalation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) including the conversation between the two Foreign Ministers and remain optimistic," said Nikolay Kudashev, Ambassador of Russia to India.

Earlier today India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke to his Chinese counterpart Wang Li and said that China took "pre-meditated and planned action" that was directly responsible for the resulting violence and casualties. However, the two leaders agreed that the overall situation would be handled in a responsible manner and both sides would implement the disengagement understanding of June 6 sincerely. Military officials also held talks to defuse tensions.

Russia also announced today that it will be hosting Russia, India, China (RIC) Foreign Ministers virtual meeting on June 23, a trilateral meeting to focus on COVID pandemic. It was reported earlier that the meet may get deferred due to tensions between India and China.

The United Kingdom also urged India and China to engage in dialogue.

"Clearly these are concerning reports. We encourage China and India to engage in dialogue on issues relating to the border. Violence is in no one's interest," a British High Commission spokesperson told ANI.

European Union urged India and China to show restraint and engage in military de-escalation.

"In light of recent worrying developments along the Line of Actual Control between India and China, we encourage both sides to show restraint and to engage in military de-escalation, as well as to continue the dialogue. This is crucial for building trust and reaching a peaceful solution which is essential to preserving peace and stability in the region," said Virginie Battu-Henriksson, EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Australia commended India 's efforts to de-escalate and conveyed condolences to families of Indian soldiers who lost their lives.

"We note India's efforts to de-escalate at the border and wish to convey our deepest condolences to the families of the Indian soldiers who have lost their lives. As a father of a serving military officer, I greatly value the sacrifice that our soldiers make in the defence of our countries," Barry O' Farrell, Australian High Commissioner to India, told ANI.

United Nations also expressed its concerns over violence and urged both sides to exercise maximum restraint.

"We are concerned about reports of violence and deaths at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China and urge both sides to exercise maximum restraint. We take positive note of reports that the two countries have engaged to de-escalate the situation," said an Associate Spokesperson of UN Secretary-General. (ANI)

'We are on deep shock', say parents of Col Santosh Babu, who lost his life in violent face-off with Chinese soldiers

Parents of Colonel Santosh Babu talking to ANI on Webnesday. (Photo:ANI)

Suryapet (Telangana)[India], June 17 (ANI): Parents of Colonel Santosh Babu, Commanding Officer of the 16 Bihar Regiment, who lost his life in the violent face-off with Chinese soldiers in Galwan valley area, are shocked by the unexpected loss.

Upender and Manjula, the parents said they had first been in disbelief but later accepted the truth after being informed by higher authorities about the face-off.

Manjula, the martyred Colonel's mother, told ANI, "We received the news, yesterday afternoon at 2 pm that my son has been martyred. I could not believe that my son has been martyred."

"We are under deep shock, We could not believe it when we got to know about our son. I could bot believe it as he was very brave. Since the last fifteen years, he had gained success. I immediately inquired from one of the officers. Later, several officers of the Army contacted directly through my phone. They said that they are making arrangements to get the body from that place to Suryapet," Col Santosh's father, Upender, told ANI.

He added that the body of his son will reach Suryapet by today evening, and also said that he has been given assurance of full support from leaders and officials, including MoS (Home) G Kishan Reddy.

"By tomorrow the body will reach here, along with my daughter-in-law and the kids, the officer told me on phone. Kishan Reddy spoke to me on the phone as well. All the delegates from Suryapet, including, Collector has given us assurance to support us at this time. An Army official has informed that the body will start in the day and reach Suryapet at around 4 pm via Chandigarh to Hyderabad and then Suryapet," he said.

The violent face-off happened on late evening and night of June 15 in Ladakh's Galwan Valley as a result of an attempt by the Chinese troops to "unilaterally change" the status quo during de-escalation in Eastern Ladakh and the situation could have been avoided if the agreement at the higher level been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side, India said on Tuesday.

The Army confirmed that 20 soldiers were killed in the face-off including 17 who were critically injured at the stand-off location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain.

Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged at the Galwan area in Ladakh where they had earlier clashed on the night of June 15 and 16, Indian Army said. (ANI)

PM Modi, Trudeau discuss possibilities of international collaboration to address health, economic crisis

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Representative Image)

New Delhi (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau on Tuesday discussed the possibilities of international collaboration to address the ongoing health and economic crisis.

During their telephonic conversation, the two leaders updated each other about the evolving situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic in their countries, according to a statement by the Prime Minister's office.

"Prime Minister spke on phone today with Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. The leaders updated each other about the evolving situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic in their countries, and also discussed the possibilities of international collaboration to address the health and economic crisis," the statement read.

The two leaders agreed that the India-Canada partnership can help in advancing in humanitarian values in the global discourse in the post-COVID-19 world.

The leaders emphasised the need to strengthen multilateral institutions including the World Health Organisation, and agreed to work closely together at various international fora, on health, social, economic and political issues.

Prime Minister Modi warmly appreciated the assistance extended by Canadian authorities in recent days to the Indian citizens in Canada, and for facilitation offered for the return of Canadian citizens from India.

The two leaders agreed to continue their mutual consultations in the coming days. They agreed that as large economies wedded to democratic values, India and Canda have a nutural convergence on many global issues, the statement read.

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