Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria today said the country will always strive towards maintaining peace and the "sacrifice" at Galwan Valley "will not go in vain". The Indian Air Force chief was speaking at the combined graduation parade at the Air Force Academy near Hyderabad.
"The gallant actions in a highly-challenging situation have demonstrated our resolve to protect India's sovereignty at any cost," the Air Chief Marshal said on the violent face-off between Indian and Chinese soldiers in eastern Ladakh on Monday. Twenty soldiers laid down their lives for India. Sources have told NDTV over 40 Chinese soldiers were also killed or injured.
"It should be very clear that we are well prepared and suitably deployed to respond to any contingency. I assure the nation that we are determined to deliver and will never let the sacrifice of the braves of Galwan go in vain," Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said.
"The security scenario in our region mandates that our armed forces remain prepared and vigilant at all times. The development at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh is a small snapshot of what we are required to handle at a short notice," he said.
"In spite of unacceptable Chinese action after agreements reached during military talks and resulting loss of lives, all efforts are underway to ensure that the current situation at LAC is resolved peacefully," the Air Force chief said.
The IAF has deployed its newest AH-64E Apache "tank buster" attack helicopters in Ladakh. Photos have emerged showing MiG-29 jets flying combat air patrol over the region.
China has not captured any Indian territory or crossed the borders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday at an all-party meeting called to discuss the clash with Chinese forces in Ladakh.
"Neither is anyone inside our territory nor is any of our post captured," PM Modi said, adding the entire country is hurt and angry at the steps taken by China at the Line of Actual Control or LAC. "Twenty of our bravehearts were martyred in Ladakh but not before they taught a lesson to those who raised an eye at Bharat Mata," he added, speaking in the meeting where most leaders expressed solidarity with the government in its response to Chinese aggression.