PMO statement on Galwan Valley lame attempt to obfuscate truth: Congress

New Delhi [India], June 20 (ANI): Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala on Saturday said that the statement from the Prime Minister's office on the Galwan Valley faceoff is "a lame attempt to obfuscate the truth".

"Is Galwan Valley not part of Indian territory? Why is Government not coming forward and strongly rebutting the Chinese claim over Galwan Valley? If Chinese troops are present there, does it not amount to intrusion into and occupation of Indian territory? Also, why is the Government silent on intrusions in the Pangong Tso area," Surjewala asked in a statement.

"The PMO's statement is clearly a lame attempt to obfuscate the truth. First of all, PMO and the Government need to clearly state their position on the Galwan Valley. The PMO's statement belittles the gravity of the situation on the India-China LAC. Security Experts, Army Generals, and Satellite Imagery have confirmed not only one intrusion on June 15, 2020, but several intrusions into and occupation of Indian territory in the Ladakh area, "Surjewala said.

"In a rejoinder to the PMO statement, Congress sought clarifications on the alleged intrusions between May 5 and June 15," he asked that why were demands for a restoration of the status quo made.

"If there was no other intrusion into Indian territory, how were the Chinese present "in large numbers" or why was the restoration of "status quo ante" being demanded or "disengagement" and "early resolution" being sought?", said Surjewala.

Referring to a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs dated on June 17, he asked: "If Chinese troops are not present in Indian Territory, why is the MEA harping on disengagement and de-escalation as late as on June 17, 2020?"

He further said that there is evidence of Chinese troops at several places in the Galwan Valley and Pangong Tso Area that have to be brought under "disengagement" and "de-escalation"

"Our information is that no such disengagement has been completed by the Chinese and, in view of their illegal claim to the whole of Galwan Valley, the onus lies on the Government to protect our territorial integrity," the Congress leader said.

Surjewala appealed to PM Modi to rise to the challenge of protecting national security.

"We sincerely urge upon the Prime Minister to follow 'Raj Dharma' and rise to the challenge of protecting 'National Security' and 'Territorial Integrity'."

Twenty Indian soldiers lost their lives in the face-off in Galwan Valley on June 15-16. It happened as a result of an attempt by the Chinese troops to unilaterally change the status quo during the de-escalation in eastern Ladakh.

Indian intercepts have revealed that the Chinese side suffered 43 casualties including dead and seriously injured in the violent clash. (ANI)