The Congress today demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi share the ground situation at Ladakh with the nation as the people have a right to know. After weeks of face-off and a skirmish at various parts in Ladakh, three Indian soldiers died last night in what the army described as a "violent face-off" in which the Chinese side also sustained casualty.
A Colonel and two soldiers were killed in action as the violence broke out while Chinese soldiers were about to withdraw, sources said. The soldiers were not shot but were killed in a physical fight on Indian Territory that involved stones and batons, army sources also said.
There has been no statement from the government on the matter.
"In the last five decades, not a single casualty or martyrdom of our soldiers has occurred or happened on Indo-China Border i.e. 'Line of Actual Control'," the Congress pointed out in a detailed statement.
Calling last night's events "an audacious attempt on our "territorial integrity"," the party also posed a series of questions for the government.
"Will the PM and Raksha Mantri take the Nation into confidence as to how could our officer and soldiers be killed as the Chinese were reportedly withdrawing from our territory in the Galwan Valley? How and under what circumstances were our officer and soldiers martyred?" the party questioned, pointing to the army statement that the violence took place during the "de-escalation process".
The party also questioned why the official statement from the army came post-noon when the clash took place last night "and why was the statement changed after 16 minutes at 1.08 PM".
The army's initial statement had no word on the Chinese casualty -- a revised version came soon after, which, without going into details, said there were "casualties on both sides".
The Congress also demanded that the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister, who "repeatedly maintained an intriguing silence on the occupation of our territory by the Chinese since April/May" make a statement on the matter, explaining how much of Indian territory is under Chinese control.
The party also questioned how the government 'proposes to meet this challenging situation".
For more than six weeks, Indian and Chinese soldiers have been engaged in a stand-off at least two locations along the Line of Actual Control -- the 3,488 km de-facto boundary between India and China.
The areas were the Galwan River -- one of the early triggers of the 1962 India-China war -- and Pangong Tso, a glacial lake located high up in the Tibetan plateau, portions of which are claimed by both nations.
In May, the soldiers had clashed near Pangong Lake, afte which talks on de-escalation started between local commanders.
BJP chief JP Nadda said, "During the time of crises, Congress always created political issues".
"When we were fighting the Kargil war, Sonia Gandhi-ji had asked for a RS session. The then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had called an all-party meeting, but Congress didn't participate. This is their culture," he was quoted as saying by BJPLive, the party's Internet TV initiative.