PM reaches Ladakh on surprise visit amid talks of disengagement with China

PM Narendra Modi (centre) accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat (left) and Army Chief General MM Naravane during his visit to Ladakh on Friday. Photo: ANI
Days after a violent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in East Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday reached Leh with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General M M Naravane.

Modi reached Leh around 9.30 am, PTI reported.

Modi is at one of the forward locations in Nimu and is interacting with personnel of the Army, Air Force and ITBP, official sources said.

Located at 11,000 feet, Nimu is among the toughest terrains, on the banks of river Indus and surrounded by the Zanskar range.

The visit is also aimed at boosting morale of the army personnel engaged in the seven-week bitter border faceoff with the Chinese troops in the region, sources added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Leh. Photo: ANI

The Army Chief visited Ladakh on June 23 and 24 during which he held a series of meetings with senior army officials and visited various forward areas in eastern Ladakh. Gen Naravane earlier visited Leh on May 22.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was earlier scheduled to visit Ladakh on Friday to take stock of India's military preparedness in the wake of a bitter border standoff with the Chinese troops in the region. 

#WATCH Prime Minister Narendra Modi briefed by senior officials in Nimmoo, Ladakh

— ANI (@ANI) July 3, 2020
The Indian and Chinese armies are locked in a standoff position at multiple locations in eastern Ladakh for the last seven weeks. The tension escalated manifold after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent clash in Galwan Valley on June 15.

The Chinese side also suffered casualties but it is yet to give out the details.

In his monthly "Mann ki Baat" radio address on Sunday, the prime minister had asserted that India has given a befitting reply to those who cast an evil eye on its territory in Ladakh.

He had said while the country honours the spirit of friendship, it is also capable of giving an appropriate response to any adversary.

Paying tributes to the 20 Army men killed in the violent stand-off, Modi had also said India's brave soldiers have shown that they will not allow the nation's pride to be hurt.

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